INTERVIEW: Harrop eyes Champions League spot with Birmingham City Ladies - The Solihull Observer

INTERVIEW: Harrop eyes Champions League spot with Birmingham City Ladies

Solihull Editorial 14th Sep, 2017   0

FOOTBALL: CHAMPIONS League football is on the mind of Birmingham City Ladies defender Kerys Harrop.

The 26-year-old, who has been playing first team football with the Blues for the past seven seasons, hopes her team can use last season’s FA Cup Final appearance to catapult themselves into Europe’s top club competition.

Though Birmingham could only manage a seventh place finish in this year’s FA WSL Spring Series, Harrop is in a confident mood about the prospects of the Birmingham side following a handful of new additions.

Speaking to The Observer, the defender said she wants her side to be pushing for a top two spot in this year’s Women’s Super League.

She said: “I look back to last season and we had a successful cup run which sadly ended in the final.

“But last year’s loss has motivated the team to perform better than last year. We want to be pushing for a top two spot and get back to playing Champions League football.

“It’s great to play at that level, and hopefully a few of the girls got a flavour for what it’s like when we travelled to Wembley last year for the FA Cup final.

“If we can qualify for the Champions League I believe it will help us prepare for league games at home.”

Harrop’s career has witnessed a major change in the way many see how women’s football is played and delivered – both on and off the pitch.

The former England star said she never dreamt that she’d one day be a professional footballer, and admitted aspiring female players have everything to be positive about.

“There’s a tremendous effort that goes into a lot of different aspects within the game now – from marketing to media,” said Harrop.

“It’s amazing the progress that has been made. I remember playing in front of crowds of 50 people.

“Now attendances are on the up – I could never imagine playing in front of 35,000 people at Wembley.

“Young, aspiring, players have more access now than ever.”

Birmingham start their season with a tough away trip to Arsenal on Sunday, September 24, before facing Everton at home a week later.

Despite taking on the country’s leading teams, Harrop believes a good year of recruitment will pay dividends if Birmingham are to challenge for a top spot.

She said: “We’re prepared. We’ve made a good signing in Sarah Mayling who has settled well into the squad.

“The likes of Rachel Williams and Ellen White will help us create opportunities to score goals too – something we’ve struggled with in the past.

“I have no doubt the Spring Series has helped to improve the professional environment.

“We had a solid squad throughout the Spring Series and that’s what we’ll be looking for in the league – some consistency.”

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