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Luton Town have made an encouraging start to the new season with a 5-2 victory over Stevenage Ladies in their opening match in FAWPL South East Division One.
We talked to Luton vice captain Zara Carroll, who scored twice against Stevenage, and she told us that the club has had a good pre-season and is striving to improve on last season's sixth place finish:
WSS: Well done on the win on Sunday, how pleased are you to have won your first game of the season?
ZC: I'm really pleased! You always want to start the season off with a win to set the tone and send a message to other teams in the league. We had a good pre-season against some strong higher placed teams so I had a feeling we would continue to play with that intensity and high tempo.
WSS: The game was still in the balance at half time, were you always confident you would win when the fourth goal went in?
ZC: Yes definitely, we were in control of the game from start to finish and the two goals we presented them on a plate with silly defensive errors. I knew our fitness and persistence would push through in the end.
WSS: Have there been many new arrivals at the club over the summer or is the team a settled one from last season?
ZC: In my opinion, the spine of the team and core players are all retained players. We have recruited a few players in key positions, plus the usual players have been added in from our youth program which continues to produce some outstanding young talent as they know that they will get an early opportunity at this club. The whole of pre-season built on our teamwork ethos and we made it click on the day.
WSS: This week you play away to Enfield Town who have also made a winning start, what kind of game are you expecting there?
ZC: Enfield also had a win on their first game of the season so we`re not expecting an easy game. They are a physical side who play simple direct football but I still believe our fitness and the front end will give their defence many problems.
WSS: You had a decent season last time around with a top half finish, how confident are you that the team can push on from there this season?
ZC: This is the best squad we have had in a while. There are so many options and the competition for starting positions is always a good thing. Our bench is always full of game changers, which is exactly what you need when things need to be changed during a game.
WSS: The division looks to be a very tight one on paper, are you expecting a close title race?
ZC: Yes, there always seems to be a battle between the same few clubs but I'm hoping we will finish higher than last year if I'm honest. There were many occasions when we disappointingly dropped points which were avoidable.
WSS: Who do you expect to be amongst the main challengers in the league this season?
ZC: I would expect the same clubs to be at the top end but the division appears to be the most open for some years. The big spenders will no doubt be up there again with all the teams capable of upsetting one another at any given time. Actonians certainly set their stall out last week and I'd expect them to also be in the shake-up come May.
Our thanks to Zara!
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