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Huddersfield Town registered one of their biggest wins of the season on Sunday when they beat Newcastle Utd 7-2, meaning they can look forward to Northern Division football again next season.
We talked to 18-year-old Katie Lockwood, who is playing her second full season with Huddersfield at open age level. She admitted that this was a result which had been on the cards for a while, whilst insisting that a good finish to the season will set them up for a strong campaign next time around:
WSS: Was the scoreline a true reflection of the way the team played on Sunday?
KL: Yes, we play an attacking style of football and this result has been coming. We've been playing well but not getting the results. We felt that were unlucky in our previous game against Bradford where we played well but couldn't break them down and one or two decisions went against us. Against Newcastle, after a tight first half, we really dominated the second half when our superior fitness told.
WSS: How pleasing was the result after two narrow defeats against teams in the top half?
KL: It was pleasing as it has been coming, but the league is very strong this season.
WSS: Emily Heckler added another four goals to take her league tally to 26, how good for the team is it to have her up front?
KL: Emily knows where the goal is! I know her very well as she coached me for four years at junior level. If we give her the service, then she'll score goals. With the injury problems that we've had since the start of the season, mainly to defenders, some of our more creative players have been playing out of position and this hasn't helped Emily. Now that we're more or less back to full strength, Emily can get more help and once she has the ball she's very difficult to stop.
WSS: This week you travel to Loughborough Foxes, do you see this as another important game to maintain your winning form?
KL: Yes, we want to finish the season strongly. When we played Loughborough at home we had quite an easy afternoon but, we know that they have quality players and we'll have to work hard to get the right result.
WSS: Overall, how do you feel the season has gone at Huddersfield?
KL: It's been a bit disappointing really but with all the injuries that we've had, it's not really unexpected. At one time we had six first team defenders out injured and that doesn't help. We've reached the Sheffield & Hallamshire Women's Challenge Cup Final which we'll play on 13th April against Barnsley Ladies. If we can win that, then the season won't have been too bad.
WSS: The title race in the Northern Division has been a close one, do you feel the division has more strength in depth this season?
KL: The teams this season are definitely stronger. We managed early season 3-3 draws against both Stoke City and Nottingham Forest (both games that we should really have won), but certainly some clubs are much stronger.
WSS: Are you confident that Huddersfield can build on this season and aim higher next time around?
KL: Yes, we have a very good team of coaches working with us. Ash Vickers took over as 1st team manager in early November and Baz Arjomond has moved up from the Development team to become his assistant. Tom Conway works with the goalkeepers and Kristian Rowan moved to us from Leeds Ladies earlier in the year to work as our Physio. We need to have a good end to this season and then a strong pre-season. We have a good solid team but just need a little more luck with injuries and then we'll hopefully be up there challenging for promotion next season.
Our thanks to Katie!
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