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Bolton Wanderers claimed their first away victory of the season on Sunday when they beat fellow newly promoted side Barnsley 3-1 in FAWPL Northern Division One.
We talked to Bolton captain Katie Miller who, whilst setting her initial target as staying in the league this season, feels that results like the win against Barnsley will stand the North West League Champions in good stead as it progresses:
WSS: Sunday saw your first away win of the season, how pleasing was the result and performance?
KM: Barnsley away was a satisfying victory. It was one of our best performances of the season, it was a massive game. Barnsley like ourselves have just been promoted into this league so to pick up three points was a great confidence boost for the girls in what is going to be a tough season.
WSS: Are you satisfied overall with the start you have made, with two wins and two defeats so far?
KM: Of course, two wins and two defeats isn't the perfect start but overall we have won four out of six including cup games. Morecambe beat us in the league, then the following week we knocked them out of the County Cup. The other team we got beaten by was Brighouse - we didn't have the best start, went 4-1 down and although we pulled it back to 4-3, hit the bar twice and had a goal disallowed. We were disappointed to not have at least picked up a point but we were in no way embarrassed versus a team who could be competing for the league title.
WSS: How has the team been finding the step up to Premier League football?
KM: The step up into this league is massive. The pace is a lot faster and you don't get time on the ball. Your reaction times have to be quicker. We have probably surprised people with how quickly we have adapted but I am sure there are more lessons to be learned along this journey...
WSS: This week you have another local derby against Chorley, how much is the team relishing taking them on?
KM: This week is Chorley and yes, this will be another challenge like every game we will face this season. We have played Chorley many times in previous years and we look forward to facing them as always. Both teams like to play football and have a lot of new faces, so it's set up to be a great game.
WSS: Following that you have a run of home games, do you see those matches as being particularly important ones as you look to establish yourselves at this level?
KM: Yes, the games are coming thick and fast and we will look to get points on the board whether we are playing home or away as we don't want to be in the dogfight like teams were last year - when four in this league all could have been relegated on the last day of the season.
WSS: What are the aims for Bolton Wanderers this season?
KM: The aim this season is the same as it was before we kicked a ball, to survive relegation, anything other than that is a bonus. Although we aim to finish as high as we can and compete in all competitions, we have to be realistic, this is the first time in 18 years that BWLFC have competed at this level and it's one step at a time. If we survive it's been a great season.
WSS: The club seems to be an ambitious one, how keen is everyone to build on last season's title success and progress further in the future?
KM: This season is a massive adventure and learning curve for all the girls. It's a new team playing with a new style. There are going to be highs and lows but in order for us to achieve the goal, we have to stick and keep building. The club is receiving a lot of local media support and attention and we have four open age teams so participation wise, it's huge in the area.
Our thanks to Katie!
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