Katie Zelem

Zelem: We're here to compete in the WSL

New Manchester United Women captain Katie Zelem feels the Reds should be looking to challenge the established elite in the Women’s Super League this season.

Casey Stoney’s side face Arsenal at Leigh Sports Village on Monday night, and the midfielder is confident in our ability to overcome the reigning champions.

The Gunners knocked us out of the FA Women's Continental League Cup in February and got their title defence off to a winning start, beating West Ham United 2-1 on Sunday.

“It’s another massive game,” said the 23-year-old. “It’s at our place this time so bringing them to our place is a completely different story and if we put a performance in, there’s no doubt we can take something away from that game.”

Katie Zelem playing against Arsenal
Katie in action during the 2-1 cup defeat to the Gunners at Borehamwood in February.

Zelem played the full 90 minutes in United’s 1-0 defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

After the full-time whistle, she said she was proud to lead the team out for our first-ever game in the women’s top flight but admitted she was disappointed in the result.

“[United are] my childhood club and I never would have expected [to be captain], to be honest. I’m so honoured to be given the armband and hopefully I can do this club some justice.

“I think we went in at half-time the better side and we created a lot more chances than them. Like you said, if we take one of them chances then it’s a different game.”

Katie Zelem interview
Zelem was announced as our new captain last week, taking over from Alex Greenwood.

Caroline Weir’s 25-yard stunner ultimately proved to be the difference between the two Manchester clubs, but Zelem feels the Reds showed plenty to suggest we can join the likes of City and the Gunners in contesting for places in the upper reaches of the division.

“I think that’s a marker for us now to show everyone else we’re here to compete and we want to compete in this league. We think we’ve got the ability to.”

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