KASIA GLAD TO END HECTIC DOUBLE LIFE
KASIA LIPKA has spent the last two years playing football in WSL2 and studying for a degree in economics.
Promotion followed graduation and the Doncaster Rovers Belles midfielder is now ready to test herself against the best.
Lipka graduated from Leeds University last summer and celebrated by helping the Belles clinch their return to the top flight of women’s football.
She played in WSL1 as a teenager but, according to the 22-year-old, she returns as both a better player and a more mature person.
And, after signing her first full-time professional contract last month, she is itching to prove it.
“I have had a bit of a rest over the winter because it’s a long season and I graduated in the summer as well. It was nice to be able to relax a bit,” said Lipka.
“I think I will miss university a bit, but I have gone full-time now, which is what I have always wanted to do.
“For the last two seasons I have been trying to juggle my degree with football, so the timing is good.
“There are a lot of things I want to improve on, and having time to focus on the small things makes a big difference.
“I was up there before when I was quite young, but now I feel more experienced after a couple of seasons in WSL 2. I need to test myself against the best and see how I do.”
She won’t have to wait too long to face the best as Doncaster are scheduled to face WSL champions Chelsea on the opening weekend of the league season.
That also means a swift return to Doncaster for winger Beth England, a key protagonist in their promotion campaign, who left to join the Blues last week.
“We all wish her the best of luck and it is a shame we have not kept hold of her,” continued Lipka. “I really enjoyed playing with her and really got on with her as a person, too.
“We have Chelsea first game, which will be interesting!
“I think it’s great that it’s a home fixture because we have a really good fanbase.
“It will be good to see where we are and where we lie against the best.”
England aside, Rovers have kept hold of the squad that took them up, as well as adding some new faces – striker Natasha Dowie the most notable among them – and Lipka believes they are capable of ruffling a few feathers in the top flight.
“The priority is to stay up, but I think we can do more than that,” she added. “We want to be able to compete against the best and give everyone a game.We are hoping to surprise a few people.
“I think the signings show our intentions and send a message out that we are coming up not just to fight to stay up.
“We want to be more than that and, with the players we have kept as well, we feel like we can do well in the league.We want to do it properly.”