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Women's Football News
Doncaster Rovers Belles picked up their first win of the season on Sunday, a 4-1 success away to Guiseley Vixens.
We talked to Belles defender Olivia Cook, who was delighted with her team's first points of the season and admitted their determination to prove themselves at this level and give the club a brighter future:
WSS: Well done on your first win of the season on Sunday. As well as joy, was there some relief as well afterwards?
OC: Yeah of course it's difficult for a young squad like us to start the season with the tough games we've had and it's nice for our hard work to finally pay off. This gives us something to kick on from now for the season.
WSS: And to win 4-1 against a team which had draw with Middlesbrough in midweek, just how well did the team play on the day?
OC: Guiseley are a very strong and experienced side and they showed how threatening they can be on Sunday. But, for us, it was a much stronger, improved performance, we were more confident, organised and most importantly resilient which is something we've maybe missed in our other performances.
WSS: Did you feel though that a result like this was coming?
OC: We're constantly adapting and progressing as a team and have been minimising our mistakes. We were close against Derby, Forest and Hull and have looked more threatening recently so we had hoped that this would soon translate into points for us.
WSS: The club's problems over the summer were well known, how difficult was it for the team to settle down and get used to each other over the opening games?
OC: It was a difficult summer to say the least for Belles, but everyone here knew the significance of the club and its reputation for developing young players, so we all shared that mentality of wanting to prove why we're here. There's a great atmosphere and vibe amongst players and staff and our togetherness is key to our performance.
WSS: This week you take on Barnsley in the Plate, how confident are the team that they can build on last Sunday's result?
OC: Obviously, each game presents a different challenge and we go into each one expecting a battle. Barnsley are strong and we're never going to expect results, we want to earn them. Now, we want to carry forward the momentum from Sunday and bring that same energy to the cup game.
WSS: The team is obviously improving week by week, do you feel now that you can close the gap on the teams above you?
OC: We're eager to prove that we deserve our place in the league and Sunday has shown ourselves and others what we're capable of. As a team, we're always going to challenge ourselves and want to chase down that team in front so we'll continue working hard to achieve that and compete with the other teams.
WSS: Taking into account all that has gone on over the last few months, if the team were to stay up this season, would that be one of the club's best ever achievements?
OC: Donny Belles have achieved some incredible things as a club, so to be a part of any achievement here is special. For our team it would be an amazing achievement to not only stay up, but to seriously compete in this league. The club has backed us to stay in this league from the start and have never doubted that we would fight and contend and that's what we hope to do.
WSS: Just how important is it for women's football in this country for the famous Doncaster Belles to get over this phase and keep going in the future?
OC: Belles is an historic club and one that has paved the way for many female footballers from its establishment to the present. I think the fact it didn't give up in the face of recent challenges is testament to the hard work of the all the staff at the club and the support of the fans and footballing community. So, it's important to keep this club as a significant part of the women's game. Some have seen this season as a step back, but we see it as a new opportunity. We get to be a part of the experience in driving this club forward and creating something exciting for the future.
Our thanks to Olivia!
(Photo - Julian Barker)
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