As Chelsea Ladies continue the preparations for a new FAWSL season; their manager Matt Beard welcomes a number of new additions.
Beard has brought a trio of midfielders into the squad, as Sue Lappin, Helen Bleazard and Katie Sherwood all joined the ranks ahead of the second FAWSL season which kicks off in March.
One of the first players to sign was Welsh international Sherwood, who joined the Blues from Bristol Academy, where the midfielder plied her trade under the surname Daley.
At 26-years-old, the dynamic player has already secured over 40 caps for Wales, netting two goals. Daley joins fellow Welsh internationals Helen Lander and Chelsea Ladies captain Kylie Davies in the Blues squad, and she can't wait to start playing.
'The other girls always had good things to say about Matt and playing for the club,' said Daley, 'so when the opportunity came up to join Chelsea, I grabbed the chance. This is one of the biggest clubs in the world and I'm really looking forward to playing in a Chelsea shirt.'
Daley's not the only new arrival to come from Bristol, nor Wales. Fellow Welsh international Bleazard also left the West Country to play her football in London while Lappin made her way south from Glasgow City Ladies.
Bleazard also lists her international colleagues, including Blues skipper Davies and Lander, as key figures in her new side and will be used to competing for international places. However, Beard is likely to have been attracted by his new arrivals' habit of competing for honours. Last season Bristol Academy reached the FA Cup Final while Glasgow City competed on the European stage.
'Glasgow City dominate in Scotland and play in the Champions League regularly so I want to come here and be a good addition to the squad and hopefully we'll do well and be challenging for trophies this season,' said Lappin.
Looking to improve on last year's sixth-place finish, the addition of international players to the ranks, namely in midfield, increases the options available to Blues boss Beard, with all three players keen to apply their own attributes to the side.
'One of my main strengths is that I'm good with the ball at my feet,' said Lappin. 'At Glasgow City I tended to score a lot of goals from midfield so I'm going to continue that and I've seen from training that there are a lot of other talented girls in the team that I can link well with.'
Bleazard also highlights her attacking capability and versatility across offensive roles as key assets in her game: 'I've developed myself and I can use both feet. I'm a right-winger but I've played the last year-and-a-half as a left-winger for Bristol and Wales.'
Meanwhile, Daley's relishing the opportunity to prove herself at a new club: 'I'm all about challenging myself. I came here because I knew I couldn't be certain of a starting place, I'm going to have to work for it.
'I'm 26 now and I don't want to go backwards, I want to keep challenging myself and go forwards in my game. Playing under Matt and competing for a place in the Chelsea team will help me do that.
'Winning the League is what we're after. I was fortunate enough to be in the FA Cup Final last year, which was amazing, I'd love to make another final again, but definitely we want to win the League.'
By Daniel Clarke