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After a difficult time during 2013, this year has been a much better one for Gloucester City.
After having been relegated back into the South West League from Combination level, City were promoted into the Premier Division and currently lead the table by a margin of ten points after beating rivals Torquay Utd 2-0 on Sunday.
We spoke to City defender Emma Hart who admitted to being a little surprised by her team's success so far and her hopes of securing Premier League football by winning the title:
That was a big win against Torquay on Sunday, how tough a game was it against a side that hadn't been beaten?
It was a very important game for us, one we considered to be a six pointer. We were a little tentative going into the game as we hadn't played for a few weeks and we knew Torquay were a good side who hadn't lost a game as yet.
Was that the best result of your season so far?
Although we considered this an important win, the best result of our season so far has to be the Torquay away game, although we did not win the game it was a great point to get against a very difficult team. We only had 11 players on the day and with such hot conditions we consider that one of our best games of the season.
You will take a ten point lead into the holiday break, have you been at all surprised by the way things have gone?
We have been surprised how things have gone as we were only promoted last season, so to come up into a new league and take such a dominant lead is pleasantly surprising. It is something we will certainly appreciate over the Christmas break and into the New Year.
What were your expectations at the start of the season after having won promotion?
We had sets our sights low this season, maybe a mid-table finish as we are still regrouping as a team from a couple of years ago when we lost some players. We knew we had a strong team and just wanted to take each game as it came.
After a couple of weeks break, you return with an away match at Bridgwater Town, how important a game do you see that being?
After the Christmas break we return with a game against Bridgwater, we are yet to play them so we don't know what their strengths are. We see each game as a 'must win' and we want this league to be won by us and not have to rely on anyone else to get us to the title.
What do you think has been the most important factor in your success so far this season?
The most important factor in our success this season has to be the ability to rotate players when needed. We have a squad of around 20 players, so we have been fortunate to call on many different players throughout the season. We have a great bunch of girls at Gloucester City, the majority of whom have bonded together when growing up through the youth teams.
Who do you see ending up being your main rivals in the title race?
At the moment our closest rivals are Torquay and Truro so we are aware of how important their fixtures and results can be, however anything can happen throughout the remainder of the season.
After losing your status a couple of years ago, you have a chance to go up to the Premier League. What would that mean to yourself and to the club, if you can achieve it?
We chose to drop down a couple of leagues a few years ago as we had lost some players and as a club we weren't ready to play at that level of football. It's a great achievement to play in the Premier League and it's something we are striving for as a club. We are hopeful it can happen this season and look forward to returning to football after the Christmas break.
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