This week Alex Scott talks about next week's international tournament, England's rivalry with Scotland, and why Liverpool could be a threat in the WSL this season...
The new season is coming into view with less than 30 days to go until the start of the Women’s Super League. Before then, though, all my focus is on playing for England in the Cyprus Cup, a tournament that features some of the best sides in the world.
We’ve won this competition before and it takes on even greater importance this year as all the players will be wanting to impress our coach Hope Powell ahead of the summer’s European Championships in Sweden.
We fly out next week ahead of group games against New Zealand, Scotland and Italy.
I know all these teams well as I’ve played against them several times. We know their strengths and weaknesses.
Scotland beat us in the Cyprus Cup last year and we haven’t lived that down. The banter has already begun on the Arsenal Ladies training ground with the Scottish girls, Kim Little and Jennifer Beattie, boasting about how they’re going to beat us again. I think all the English girls are keen to gain some revenge!
Competition for places is fierce and I know that Hope will be wanting to give everyone some playing time. I’d never take my place for granted so I’ll be working as hard as possible to make sure the tournament is a success both for the team and for me personally.
The other two groups feature quality teams too, with Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Korea, Nothern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland all present.
We’ll certainly be aiming to get to the final. Whatever happens, though, we’ll be getting quality international matches under our belts.
Before I head out to Cyprus I’m off to Scotland with Arsenal on Sunday for a pre-season friendly with Glasgow City. We’re going to meet our new coach Shelley Kerr, for the first time which is something we’re all excited about.
It’ll be interested to talk to Shelley for the first time and hear about some of her plans for the new season which is just round the corner now.
A lot of our rivals in the WSL have been strengthening, with Liverpool particularly active in the transfer market. They’ve bought Natasha Dowie (pictured) from Everton, as well as Fara Williams, who is another quality player.
They are clearly a club with big ambitions, but rather than seeing that as a threat I think it’s great for the competitiveness of the league. Liverpool have come bottom in the first two editions of the WSL, but I think they will change this season. Chelsea, too, look very strong.
Arsenal haven’t bought any new players, but I think we did all our business over the last couple of years when we brought in young players, such as Jordan Nobbs, Steph Houghton and Ellen White. And then Kelly Smith and myself came back last year, so maybe that’s why Arsenal decided they were happy with what they have.
We feel confident we can defend our title. Time will tell whether we’re right or not.
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