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Women's Football News
Port Talbot Town have made a great start to the new season and have gone top of the Orchard Welsh Premier Women's League for the first time in their history, following an impressive 2-0 win over Cyncoed Ladies on Sunday.
We talked to Port Talbot captain Chelsey Harris, who was delighed with the performance in beating Cyncoed and praised her manager and team mates for the hard work they put in during the summer:
WSS: First of all, many congratulations on going top of the league, how does it feel to be leading the way at this stage?
CH: Thank you! Last season it took us until January 14th to reach 10 points and we have achieved this by the end of September this time around. There's a great feeling around the team and it goes to show that hard work does pays off.
WSS: You got there by winning 2-0 against Cyncoed Ladies, was that one of your best performances of the season so far?
CH: Yes, Cyncoed are always a tough opposition. We started off quite slow and there seemed to be a nervous atmosphere, but after the first fifteen minutes we grew into the game and finished strong. I do believe it was one of our best performances so far this season, showing an overall professional performance.
WSS: How much confidence did the draw with Cardiff Met give the team earlier in the season?
CH: No-one expected us to get anything from the Cardiff Met game, not even us, but we went onto the pitch with a game plan and played with a lot of heart. For us, gaining a point against the previous Champions was like a win. It has definitely given the girls confidence and belief going forward.
WSS: The team finished last season in good form, were many changes or alterations made during the course of the summer?
CH: Pre-season for the last 3 / 4 years has been spent looking for suitable new managers to take over the role, which has caused uncertainty within the team in general. Hayley (Williams) coming in at the end of last year meant we went into pre-season without the added stress of finding someone and it definitely boosted the team's morale. With Hayley being an ex-player/captain, she already had our trust and respect which has shown in our performances. Pre-season has been very organised; a lot of hard work has been put in from both players and staff. The friendly games we played weren't the toughest of opposition but enabled us to iron out the creases and try new things.
WSS: Have there been any particularly good displays from any members of the squad or has it been a team effort?
CH: A lot of the girls have stood out so far by putting in strong performances on match days as well as being committed in training. Laura May (Walkley) is our current top goalscorer, her ‘never give up' attitude and passion is something to be applauded. Carys Davies is playing very well at right back, probably her strongest season so far for Port Talbot. Former striker Victoria Beddows has challenged herself to become a goalkeeper and is continuing to gain confidence whilst putting in solid performances. The youngsters coming through are improving week by week and it's great to see them grow as players. We have a solid squad, offering competition for every position, which encourages players to play their best and give it their all. Overall, I think it has been a team effort, there is no ‘I' in ‘team', we have gelled into a family.
WSS: You have no match this week and cup matches the week after means you will stay top for at least three weeks. Are you targeting the cups this season as competitions you could do well in?
CH: We always look to have a good cup run, especially the ones that involve money - I say this because we are a self-funding club so any help with expenses is key, enjoying the wins and recognition is just a bonus. This year we look to match or better our previous cup run by reaching the semi finals and we look forward to the challenge in getting there.
WSS: Do you think the team can stay amongst the top teams this season, like Cyncoed did last time around?
CH: Of course. We have realistic targets to finish in the top half this season. We're taking each game as it comes, setting micro targets along the way so we don't get ahead of ourselves.
Our thanks to Chelsey!
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