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Chorley have got off to an excellent start in FAWNL Northern Division One and top the table after winning their opening four matches, including two in the past week.
We talked to Chorley defender Saskia Bowes, who put the team's early success down to hard work and insisted that they are capable of challenging for the title this season:
WSS: Well done on a good week, how does it feel to be on top of the league, even at this early stage?
SB: It's obviously been a great start to the season and it shows just how hard we worked over pre-season. The squad are a tight bunch and that's coming across in the performances. I am delighted but we need to keep this run of results going!
WSS: Two good wins against Morecambe and Crewe, were you pleased with the way the team played in those matches?
SB: Yes. Both sides were resolute but played contrasting styles so we needed to adapt our style in order to get through their well drilled defences. The Crewe game was also pleasing as we came back from a goal down which shows the character of the current players. I'd like to thank our supporters for creating a wonderful atmosphere in the midweek fixture, there's no place like Victory Park under the floodlights!
WSS: Looking back, how significant a result has the game against Norton & Stockton on the opening day turned out to be, when you came from behind to win 5-4?
SB: Norton were a brilliant team and they will do well this season. Having been promoted, they were an unknown quantity but three points in this league against anyone is always the best result. It also gave the team confidence. Getting off to a good start is key and gave the team momentum.
WSS: Overall, you did alright last season but appeared to lack consistency, were there many changes made over the summer?
SB: We have strengthened in key areas, yes. Darbo, Vella, Kemp and Wild have all had a huge impact on the side and really adapted well to the style of play. All players have bought into our philosophy which is to play entertaining football and the squad as a whole have such a high morale. We had a lot of changes last season but this season we are settled at Victory Park, we are training twice a week and we have a great group of girls.
WSS: This week you take a break in the league to play Farsley Celtic in the FA Cup, is the club targeting a good run in the cups this season?
SB: The FA Cup is always a brilliant atmosphere. It's such a historical and special occasion that it means a lot to the team to get as far as we can. We go into every game believing we can win, whether that be the league or cup. We love a good cup run and last season we had a lot of joy in cup competitions including making the final of the County Cup. So this year, we hope to continue this.
WSS: How confident are you that you can keep this early form going and can Chorley be serious challengers this season?
SB: There's no reason why we can't. Successful teams have a blend of good team spirit, technical ability and character... we have these in abundance. The league is never easy though and anyone can beat anyone so we just have to take each game as it comes and get as many points on the board as we can.
WSS: Who else do you expect to see near the top of what looks to be a really strong division this year?
SB: It's always been a highly competitive league which is a credit to the women's game. There are no shocks in the league because anything can happen. So far, Newcastle United have looked a good outfit and Liverpool Feds as well as Brighouse are always up there. You can't write anyone off though.
Our thanks to Saskia!
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