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Burnley FC Women produced arguably the best result of the opening day of the new season in the FA Women's National League when they won 2-1 away to Sunderland on Sunday in the Northern Premier Division.
We talked to Burnley midfielder Nic Worthington, who described the win over Sunderland as "massive" and a result which has greatly boosted the team's confidence for the season ahead:
WSS: Congratulations on a fine win on Sunday, is that as good a win as the club has ever picked up?
NW: Yeah absolutely! The win against Sunderland was massive for the club and for this group of girls to get our season going. It's always a great feeling to beat a team that went unbeaten the previous season.
WSS: Was it a nervy ending to the game for you, after Sarah Agger had put you back in front?
NW: Yes, I think there was about five minutes to go after Sarah scored, but it felt like 25!! I think we managed the last part of the game extremely well. Each and every one of us gave 110% to get over the line with three points.
WSS: The team has prided itself on a good defensive record in recent seasons, was that the case again on Sunday?
NW: Yes of course, Matt always sets us up to be difficult to beat. I felt we were well organised, compact and frustrated Sunderland with the lack of time they had on the ball. All of the girls gave maximum effort and we deserved the win on Sunday.
WSS: This of course was your first competitive match for six months after the season was halted, how good was it to be playing league football again?
NW: Amazing! Football is a big part of my life and having not played for such a long time, it was great to be back again.
WSS: Are there many changes at the club from last season?
NW: We have added a couple of new faces. A centre forward, Katie [Thomas], who has settled into the team really well and scored what could be the goal of the season against Sunderland. I'm really pleased for her. We've also added two goalkeepers to support Lauren [Bracewell] and two midfielders. It's always good to have lots of options as we have a long season ahead.
WSS: So does a result like beating Sunderland give the team belief that you can have a really good season?
NW: Yes it's always important to win your first game and get three points on the board. You can definitely see a boost in confidence in and around the team from our win. We now need to build on this result and get a good set of points on the board in the run up to Christmas.
WSS: Which teams do you expect to see challenging for the title this season?
NW: Every team in this league will be tough - we can't take anyone for granted. I imagine Sunderland will be up there, Derby, Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield. I'd hope we'd also be contenders!
Our thanks to Nic!
Photo by Chris Fryatt Photography
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