Brighton & Hove Albion women’s first-team defender Laura Rafferty says the team will relish their underdog tag heading into the club’s first-ever season in the top flight.
Albion will compete alongside Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool in the revamped FA Women’s Super League, and Rafferty has no doubts the team can battle with the best.
She said, “It’s not bad to be an underdog and anything can happen, as you’ve seen in the World Cup.
“Team cohesion is a massive thing for us, and it’s something that we’ve got in abundance.
“It’s an exciting time for the whole squad; we can play without fear, do our homework and aim to go into every game wanting to win it.”
The 22-year-old believes the team can gain confidence from the side’s performances against Chelsea and Manchester City last season, where Albion gave a good account of themselves despite being beaten 3-0 and 2-0 respectively.
She is now eager to repay the club’s faith in the team and help to establish the side in the top flight.
“They’re two top teams and when you go into games like that, it’s easy to shy away and fold, but it was one thing we were never going to do.
“We were high in confidence from the off and the togetherness amongst us is strong. With this trip to Portugal, it will help us grow in strength even more.
“We will give everything this season to compete in the best way we can.”
Rafferty also expressed her delight at earning a new contract and is now determined to establish herself in the starting line-up.
“My initial feeling was relief because I worked so hard to get it, but I now know that this is where the hard work starts.
“My next goal is to get into the starting eleven and then compete with the team in the WSL. I believe that we’ll be strong next season and the way we work together is amazing. That’ll be crucial next season.”