FA WSL Preview: Doncaster Rovers Belles Football Club
Former England International Vicky Exley is Doncaster's longest serving player, having been with the club since 1994. Having been capped52 times for her country, her experience will be vital and she took time out to speak to WSR about the Belles.
INS: Helen Alderson (Sunderland), Katie Anderton (Blackburn), Shelley Cox (Portsmouth), Lyndsey Cunningham (Nott'm Forest), Katie Holtham (Buffalo Flash), Maria Karlsson (Linkopings), Aine O'Gorman (Peamount United), Kylla Sjoman (Arizona State University), Amy Turner (Hofstra University).
GROUND: Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Yorkshire, DN4 5JW
KEY PLAYER: AINE O'GORMAN
"I'd probably say Aine, a new Irish player we signed. She is very quick, she has a good eye for goal and she scores a lot of goals so I think she will be our key player this year. Hopefully she can score us a lot of goals."
ONE TO WATCH: KYLLA SJOMAN
"Kylla is a Canadian international who is really good. She is a playmaker who can get the ball from the back and start an attack. She is a good, up and coming young player and will be a vital cog in our team."
BEST SIGNING: MARIA KARLSSON
"I would probably say Maria. She has come in and stregthened the back four really well. She has good experience, is really strong and we are looking good at the back now."
CAPTAIN: KATIE HOLTHAM
"She has come in and done well, she has strengthened the team in midfield. She is vocal, she gets players going and she has done well."
MANAGER: JOHN BUCKLEY
"He is a really good manager, he always wants to get the best out of the players and I enjoy working with him."
HOW DO YOU FEEL DONCASTER'S FA WSL PREPARATIONS HAVE BEEN GOING?
We started well against Chelsea, we did let ourselves down against Liverpool because we didn't play to what we could that day. We are very disappointed because we felt we had a really good chance of getting to the final this year but we conceded in the first minute against Liverpool and we couldn't come back from that. Preparations have gone well, though, pre season has been brilliant and everytime we go to training everyone is buzzing. In training this week you can just tell the first game is coming soon because everyone is getting excited and we can't wait to start.
WHAT DOES BEING IN THE FA WSL MEAN TO DONCASTER ROVERS BELLES?
"It is fantastic. You think of women's football and everyone knows Doncaster Belles so for us to still be in the top tier is brilliant. I think we deserve to be here, we have the players, the facilities and we just want to get started now, we want to get playing. We want to go out and give quality performances and hopefully push for the top half of the table and push from there."
Who will win the FA WSL? "I suppose you would say Arsenal, pushed by Everton again. They are a quality team, they have some good players."
Who will win the FA Cup? "You never know on the day, after what happened with Everton [winning] last year. It would be nice for either Bristol or Liverpool to win it."
Can you predict the WSL's round one scores?
Birmingham 3-1 Bristol Academy
Chelsea 0-4 Arsenal - having played Chelsea and seen what they are like, I think it could be more actually.
Lincoln 0-2 Doncaster
Liverpool 1-2 Everton
WSR's Verdict: 5th. One of a whole host of teams that could finish anywhere just outside the top two. Donny have been knocking on the door behind Arsenal and Everton for a few years and have brought in some good foreign players so will certainly be looking for a top half finish.
Vicky was speaking to David Brenchley. WSR will be at the opening FA WSL game between Chelsea and Arsenal, follow me on Twitter for updates!
photos Janos Schmidt