The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By Ben Young

KATY MO­RAN has the hon­our of cap­tain­ing her home town club this sea­son, but the new As­ton Villa skip­per ad­mits she was as shocked as any­one by the ap­point­ment.

The 25-year-old has been on Villa’s books for five years now and, af­ter a suc­cess­ful pre-sea­son with the armband, she was asked by man­ager Joe Hunt to con­tinue in the role full-time.

And the news is still sink­ing in for the box-to­box mid­fielder, who will lead the team out for an FA Cup fourth-round clash with Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur this af­ter­noon.

“One train­ing ses­sion, Joe pulled me to one side and said I would be cap­tain for the new sea­son,” said Mo­ran.“I was shocked and I couldn’t be­lieve it.

“It’s bril­liant, but I wasn’t ex­pect­ing it at all – it came com­pletely out of the blue.We have a great group of play­ers and I can’t wait to lead them out this sea­son.

“I think he chose me be­cause of my ex­pe­ri­ence. I’ve been around the club for five years and I’m the se­cond old­est player in the squad.

“Hope­fully, I can use my ex­pe­ri­ence in the role and give some­thing back to the younger play­ers.

“I am from Birm­ing­ham, so it’s a mas­sive hon­our to be cap­tain of such a big club. Just look­ing at the pre­vi­ous cap­tains makes me feel so proud to be given the armband.”

The new skip­per is hop­ing to in­spire an im­prove­ment on last sea­son’s ef­forts, when Villa fin­ished fifth in WSL 2 – 20 points be­hind pro­moted duo Read­ing and Don­caster Rovers Belles.

“We would have liked to be closer to the ti­tle last sea­son,” Mo­ran con­tin­ued. “We let our­selves down at points, and our in­con­sis­tency in per­for­mances was the prob­lem.

“We were los­ing and draw­ing against teams we should have been beat­ing.

“At the start of the sea­son, we set out our goals and the in­con­sis­tency is some­thing we want to cor­rect this year.

“We have made a cou­ple of good sign­ings, Des­tiny Tous­saint, Ni­cole Dale and Danielle Lea. They are all ex­pe­ri­enced Su­per League play­ers and are look­ing to make an im­pact at Villa.”

How­ever, be­fore the league sea­son kicks off in just un­der a month, the FA Cup is top of the agenda.

Villa edged past Women’s Premier League South side Portsmouth 1-0 in the third round and, with Spurs sit­ting one place and four points be­hind Pom­pey in the league, Mo­ran is con­fi­dent of mak­ing it two from two this sea­son.

“We’d had only four weeks of pre-sea­son be­fore we played Portsmouth in the pre­vi­ous round a few weeks ago,” she added. “We played well in spells, but we cer­tainly wanted to do bet­ter in most parts of the game. None­the­less it’s a good bench­mark to start the sea­son with. I’ve got a good feel­ing about the Spurs game and I can’t wait.

“It’s not ev­ery day you get to lead your team out in the FA Cup. I’m go­ing to have such a big smile on my face. Hope­fully, we will put in a per­for­mance.”

HOME TOWN GIRL: Katy Mo­ran is hugely proud to skip­per Villa

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