Ladies preview: Asante a second time

Anita Asante hopes to make her second debut for Chelsea Ladies when the Blues host Everton at Kingsmeadow on Sunday.

After a short break for international camps, Emma Hayes and her team return to WSL1 action in KT1 with a 12.30pm kick-off against the Toffees.

Asante rejoined the club she represented earlier in her career during the recent winter transfer window, signing a deal with the Blues after her contract with Swedish club Rosengard expired, but she has yet to feature in the two matches for which she has been available.

'I've had really good conversations with Emma and off the back of playing a full season in Sweden, it's important I manage my body, so they're helping me to do that in order to be at my best and not break my body down too much in these early matches,' said Asante.

'Hopefully Everton will be a great opportunity for me to show my team-mates and the supporters what I can add to this team.'

Despite not featuring thus far, the England international has been tested by the training environment, with the Blues squad filled with international-quality players all vying for 11 places in the first team.

'I think the difference is the quality and depth in the squad, which makes training that much more intense,' said the 32-year-old. 'Everyone commits 100 per cent to every action they do.

'It's so different to the English football environment I left behind all those years ago. Everyone is full-time and able to commit fully to their training and development, which means mentally everyone is focused on every aspect of their individual development and the collective.

'In the past, people had other commitments – perhaps they worked part-time, or even full-time – so maybe you couldn't give everything you had in a training session.'


The result of the increased intensity in training was there for everyone to see in our first two matches of 2018, which came against Arsenal and Manchester City.

More than 2,500 supporters attended each match and they were treated to thrilling contests and plenty of high-quality football.

'That's what people can expect from this team,' she said. 'I've seen two great games since I've been here, both of which have been relentless. The team has the energy to go for the full match, as you can see from the late chances created in both games, and that comes from the training environment.'

 

The Chelsea Ladies visit away at London Bees the following weekend is now a double-header of fixtures between the clubs...

WOMEN'S FA CUP

London Bees v Chelsea Ladies (fourth Round)

DATE 4 February

VENUE The Hive, London

KICK OFF 2.00pm

 

FA WSL DEVELOPMENT CUP

London Bees Development v Chelsea Ladies Development

DATE 4 February

VENUE The Hive, London

KICK-OFF 12 noon