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Women's Football News
Cardiff Met Ladies captain Emily Allen says that her team are in good spirits ahead of their UEFA Women's Champions League qualifying round group next week.
The Welsh Premier Women's League Champions travel to Poland to take on host side KKPK Medyk Konik, Gintra Universitetas of Romania and Republic of Ireland title winners Wexford Youths FC and Emily told Women's Soccer Scene that they are looking forward to the challenge.
"With a week to go until we leave for Poland, confidence within the group is high," she said. "The team have put in the work to make sure we are in the best shape we possibly can be, to give us the best chance out there.
This will be the third time in four seasons that the club will play in Europe and midfielder Emily admits that their other campaigns have been steep learning curves. "In previous European games we may have been slightly naive and potentially underestimated the intensity and physicality we expected to face in the competition," she said. "With some of the experience we now have within the team, we have hopefully learnt from the previous years and can go into this competition with more knowledge of what to expect."
Cardiff Met open up against hosts Medyk Konin and their immediate sights are set firmly on that game. "We obviously aim to win every game we play," says Emily, "however Medyk Konin will be a strong side and taking a result from the first game would give us confidence going into the following game.
"It's difficult to know much about teams within the European leagues but we expect each game to test us and we know it's a different challenge than we normally face."
After facing Gintra next up, Met finish up against Wexford Youths. "Perhaps their style of play will be more similar to that of a team we normally face in the Welsh league," Emily adds, "but our preparation for every team we face will not anticipate a certain style of play, and we know the unpredictability this tournament can bring."
Met won the league title last season on goal difference and the rapid improvement in standard throughout the league saw the three major trophies shared amongst three different clubs. No Welsh team has yet made it through the group stages of the Champions League and Emily, along with her team mates, has her eye set on making history.
"Welsh football has come a long way in recent years and after winning our game against the group winners Ouriense last year, we feel we can build on that and it definitely gave us a taste of potential success. Can we win the group? We'll have to wait and see!
"Qualifying for the next round would be a significant achievement not just for us but for Welsh football. It would highlight the quality there is in the Welsh Premier League that often goes unnoticed and we'd love to be the flag bearers for this."
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