Brighton & Hove Albion striker Aileen Whelan highlighted the significance of Sunday’s match against Yeovil Town, and feels it is an ideal opportunity to prove they belong among the elite of the women’s game.
Albion take on a Yeovil side that prop up the FA Women’s Super League table, and Whelan explained how both teams will be equally eager to secure a crucial first win of the season.
He said, “This is a big game coming up. We are all excited and looking forward to entertaining another big crowd like at our last home game.
“There is no doubt that this game is going to be just as difficult as any other so far. Both teams are thirsty for all three points and to move up the table.
“We know that when we play to our strengths and are hard to beat, we can beat teams in this league and Sunday is an opportunity to showcase our worth at this level.”
The Seagulls recorded a 4-2 victory over the Glovers in an FA Continental Tyres League Cup match last season, but Whelan says that result will count for nothing heading into the weekend.
“Last season was a different test as we were part time and a league below Yeovil, but this time around we are on a more even playing field.
“We know that they are going to be physical, fast and seeking their first points in the WSL and thus, they will be hard to break down.
“Like last season, we are going to get chances to score and its vital that we put these away and ensure our defensive shape is exactly how we have worked on this week in training.
“Megan Walsh is a very good goalkeeper and is going to be difficult to beat, so this makes it even more important that we are clinical and composed in front of goal.”
The Seagulls forward also commented on the increased competition for places upfront, and explained how every player in the squad will play a vital role throughout the campaign.
“It’s great to have more strikers in the team, as it gives us more opportunities and variety to our attacking play.
“More competition in any position is important to make sure players don’t become complacent.
“None of our players expect to have a position in the starting 11 on a game day, so it’s important for everyone to be performing at their best in training to make Hope’s decision as difficult as possible.
“Having more options also favours us, as it is a long season and we are going to need every single player to play their part throughout the season.”