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Women's Football News
The first day of pre-season training is always a key date in any football club's calendar but last night's opening session marked an even more significant milestone for Millwall Lionesses striker Emma Whitter.
Having suffered a broken fibula in Millwall's first ever Women's Super League fixture last April, Emma has endured nine months of rehab before finally returning to training at Bromley Arena last night.
Emma admits she's delighted to be back in action, saying: "I feel really, really great. I'm tired but it's a good tired. I love pre-season because it's hard work and hard work does good things for you as a player.
"I'm very passionate about football, I love the game and I always want to play it. I'm also very passionate about the team and the players here and I like to push them on to do great things for themselves and for the club."
Also returning to training is Whitter's rehab partner Dionne Lennon and Emma explained how the pair helped each other back to fitness: "It meant a lot to have Dionne there throughout the rehab.
"If you are on your own then you don't have that extra little push to carry you through. It was fantastic to have someone there to give me that encouragement when I felt that I couldn't go anymore."
Whitter has worked with new Lionesses' Manager Dan Mlinar during his previous coaching roles with the club and is confident he can have a big impact on the team this year. "I've known Dan for a little while now, he is a good guy, a good character and I think he can do a lot for this club," she said.
"I think Dan will be vital for this club and with Les Briley there to give him guidance I think we can go a long way."
Mlinar's first task as manager was to extend the contracts of Naomi Cole and Sarah Quantrill and Emma believes the pair will be key to the Lionesses fortunes this season. She continued: "I think it's really important because Sarah and Naomi are both young but they've got plenty of experience.
"They've both played for great teams and they can bring that experience to the young players that are coming through. We have exceptional young talent here at Millwall and hopefully those two, along with Dionne and myself, can be an experienced core in the side.
"I think you need a core of knowledge and experience in your team and hopefully the four of us can provide that and help everyone push through."
Clearly Emma can't wait for the new season to kick-off and she's confident that 2015 can be a big year for Millwall Lionesses: "I think the two promotion places are a great incentive for all the clubs in WSL 2 this season.
"If we all think positively that we can win it, or even finish runners-up, then we can do it. I'm a positive person and I believe we all need to focus our mentality on winning every week and hopefully we will get there."
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