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Football - 26. August 2011.

FA Women's Premier League Preview: Barnet excited by Underhill challenge

Barnet Ladies play their first ever game at Underhill against Leeds while the four newly promoted teams battle it out in two North v South matches; Coventry v Charlton and Cardiff v Aston Villa.

By David Brenchley

Barnet Ladies v Leeds United Ladies (Underhill Stadium, 1300)

Women's Premier League Cup winners Barnet belatedly start their 2011/12 campaign on Sunday when they host Leeds United at Underhill.

Having previously played their home matches at Hanwell Town FC's ground, the Bees have been welcomed to their League Two parent club's home this season.

Attacker Vicky Boardman is looking forward to playing at the 6,000 seater stadium, saying: "We can't wait. It is a lovely stadium and we are quite lucky to have the chance to play on it."

Barnet had a contrasting season last term; two successful cup runs (including making the FA Cup semi-finals) were successes but they only just avoided relegation thanks to a 0-0 draw with Blackburn Rovers in the last game of the season.

Boardman is confident they can build on that, though, and feels they are good enough to challenge the likes of champions Sunderland and runners up Nottingham Forest.

"I think one of our main aims this season is looking to challenge for the title," she added. "We were at the wrong end of the league last season because we had a bad start.

"We beat the top two teams last season so we know we can compete with them and winning the League Cup gave us a lot of confidence.

"Our form after the final was really good so if we can continue that into the new season hopefully be can do really well."

Coventry City Ladies v Charlton Athletic Women (Hinkley United FC, 1400)

Charlton travel to the Midlands looking to build on their opening 4-1 victory over Nottingham Forest when they face fellow newly promoted side Coventry City.

Addicks centre-back Jordan Butler believes the victory is a statement of intent from the South-East Londoners and that they can now push on to challenge at the top of the league.

"I think it sends out a big message to the rest of the league," she told cafcwomen.co.uk. "We were the underdogs going into the game and I think we showed what we have to offer this season."

Both sides are newcomers to the league, Coventry were runners up in the Northern Division last season while Charlton won the Southern Division, and will be unknown to each other.

Butler is looking forward to seeing what the Sky Blues are like, adding: "They are a new side and have probably recruited new players, just as we have, so it will be good to see what they have to offer.

"It will also be nice to see the other teams that have come up and compare us to them, and see how far ahead we are in terms of possibly pushing on to win the league."

Other Matches:

Watford Ladies v Sunderland Women (Northwood FC, 1300)
Cardiff City Ladies v Aston Villa Ladies (Cardiff International Athletics Stadium, 1400)
Nottingham Forest Ladies v Reading Women (Carlton Town FC, 1400)

WSR will be in Hinckley watching Coventry take on Charlton. Follow me on Twitter to receive updates from the game.

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