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Women's Football News
Kerry Bartlett was relieved as well as pleased following her side's 4-3 victory over Liverpool in their first match of the new Premier League season.
The Bristol Academy striker scored a hat-trick, which included a late winning goal after her team had surrendered a three-goal lead, and she admitted to Women's Soccer Scene afterwards: "We didn't make it very easy for ourselves today.
"With signing new players it takes time for everyone to gel and, being 3-1 up, we should have finished them off in the second half.
"I think we did switch off at half time - the manager told us that good teams finish others off when you're 3-1 up, and that's what we should have done, but for some reason we just stopped playing and let them back in quite easily."
However it was Kerry who was to settle matters with her hat-trick goal. "It was a good run from Stef (Curtis)," she recalls. "I thought she was going to shoot to be honest but I'm glad she passed it in the end. The team worked hard and I think we just about deserved to win, but should have done it more comfortably than we did."
Kerry scored 15 goals in her debut season in the National Division last year and is aiming for better this time around, maybe even catching the eye of international selectors. "You've got to have some ambitions," she admits. "I did better than I even thought myself last season so as long as I beat last year, I'll be happy, but who wouldn't want to finish top (of the scoring charts)."
Despite her scoring record though, Kerry faces tough competition to keep her place in the Academy forward line, particularly after the recent arrival of Gwennan Harries from Cardiff City. "Gwennan's a really good signing for us," she says, "she is really fast and a good striker. It's good to have competition, you need that in a squad - it keeps people on their toes and brings the best out of you.
"We've signed some really good players, we just need to play and learn each other's game and I think we'll be fine this season."
After their fourth place finish last season, Kerry says that her team are looking at improving on that in the new campaign: "The top three is the aim, that's what we have been talking about. I think it is possible looking at the squad we have now and if we can keep everyone together."
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