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Football - 16. August 2011.

FA Women's Premier League Preview: Sahara Osborne-Ricketts on Watford Ladies

FA Women's Premier League Preview: Watford Ladies Football Club

Watford left it until the last possible minute of their 2010/11 season to maintain their Premier League National Division status and it was centre back-cum-striker Sahara Osborne-Ricketts who scored the equaliser against Nottingham Forest in the fourth minute of injury time. The former Arsenal youngster talks us through the Hornets' side and their chances this season.

INS: Michelle Beazley, Meghan McKeag (Millwall), Brooke Nunn, Lois Roche (both Arsenal), Emma Sherwood (Chelsea).

GROUND: Northwood Park, Cheshunt Avenue, Middlesex, HA6 1HR (Home of Northwood FC)

LAST SEASON:

"I started the season in the reserves and it was only the last five games I managed to get in the first team. Last season was a struggle, we kept getting draws but the last five games of the season were good and we were just so pleased we managed to stay up. [Scoring the decisive goal of Watford's season] was an incredible feeling. Not being in the first team at the start for the whole of the season and then keeping them up was unreal, I can't really describe the feeling."

THIS SEASON:

"It is looking good; we have brought in some good players and we think we can actually go on and win the league this season. Hopefully we can get a good FA Cup run going as well. I am back at centre back now, pre season has been going well and hopefully come the start of the season I will be on the team sheet to play Leeds away."

KEY PLAYER: BROOKE NUNN

"Definitely Brooke Nunn, who has just come from Arsenal. She is a great player with incredible feet. She can play centre midfield, she is great on the ball running at players, she can pick out a pass, she is an all-round good player and will be a great signing for us."

ONE TO WATCH: KATIE OWEN

"She had quite a quiet season last season but she has the ability to stand out. I think that if this season goes well for her then she should be aiming to play Super League football in the near future."

BEST SIGNING: MEGHAN MCKEAG

"Our left back, Meghan McKeag has come in from Millwall and has been looking very good in pre-season and hopefully she can come in and do well this season."

CAPTAIN: CORI DANIELS

"I get to play alongside Cori and she is a great captain, she really gets the girls going. She is the best captain I have ever played under, you can go and talk to her about stuff and she is just a great leader on and off the pitch. I feel comfortable playing next to her and she is a good confidence builder."

MANAGER: NEIL HART

"Last season I didn't really get the chance to work with Neil because I was in the reserves but this season it is looking good. Him and Sam [Perrin, assistant manager] look like they have everything in place. Training is going really well so it all looks good."

PREDICTIONS:

Who do you think will be the biggest title threat? "Sunderland because they won it last season but it is going to be a close league because all the teams are good."

Can you predict the WPL's round one scores?
Aston Villa 1-1 Barnet
Charlton 2-1 Nott'm Forest
Leeds 0-1 Watford
Reading 2-2 Coventry

WSR's VERDICT: 2nd. Watford have made some shrewd signings, a former WSL-registered player from Chelsea, two Arsenal reserves and an experienced National Division player from Millwall. Add that to Sarah Wiltshire, who top scored in this division last term, and they have the makings of title contenders. Sunderland will be tough to beat though.

Sahara was talking to David Brenchley. Watford travel to Leeds United on the first Sunday of the Premier League season on August 21 with the kick off a 1400.

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UP
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