Fran Kirby could feature in today’s FA Women’s Community Shield encounter against Manchester City after recovering from an illness that kept her side-lined since November. The Chelsea Women forward is relishing the opportunity to play at Wembley Stadium.
The Blues are set to compete against the 2019 Women’s FA Cup holders and title rivals Manchester City this afternoon for a chance of clinching the first available piece of silverware of the new campaign. The fixture which resumes for the first time since 2008 kicks off at 12.30pm and is being broadcast live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.Read: Chelsea v Man City previewThe last time the rivals faced each other was back in February, which resulted in an enthralling six-goal thriller, and what turned out to be our final game of the 2019/20 Women’s Super League. Kirby acknowledges the quality of our opposition but insists the team are ready for the challenge.‘It’s a dream come true to play at Wembley and even regardless of whether you’ve played there before it’s always that same emotion and same excitement,’ she told the official Chelsea website.‘The last time I played at Wembley I managed to win with Chelsea so hopefully we get another win and start the season off with a trophy.‘Winning the shield will give us a real good start to the season and a good buzz. If you win a piece of silverware before the season starts, you’re already in a good place and like we always say we want to win everything at this club and we’re starting off with that.
‘We will give it 110 per cent to win that and we have to go there ready to fight for it. It’s going to be an amazing game, us v Man City, and it’s going to be interesting to see where both teams are at going into the season. We know City are going to be tough so we need to be on our A-game.’On Kirby’s return to fitness after recovering from the rare illness called pericarditis, Emma Hayes said in her press conference that the No.14 ‘feels like a new signing’. The 27-year-old is understandably delighted to be back training with the squad and outlines her hopes from the season.‘I’m really happy, that’s the most important thing,’ Kirby said. ‘I’m happy and I’m smiling now I’m back to myself and hopefully I can get back to myself on the pitch.‘I’ve had a good pre-season, I feel good, I feel fit and I’m excited to get going and see how I do. But ultimately to see how the team does because we have been working hard.‘First and foremost I want to stay on the pitch, being able to continue to train and be the best player that I can be.‘It’s been a tough few years for me personally with injuries and illness so I’m focusing on how I can be the best person around the team and how I can be the best player and version of myself.’
It’s an exciting time to be a Blues fan, with Kirby, Bethany England and Sam Kerr all at our disposal up front. The Chelsea forward spoke about her link-up play with our Player of the Year England, as well as the new partnership she has been forming with Kerr.‘It’s exciting, it’s something that we’ve been working on in training quite a lot and it will be nice for me to get a chance to play with Sam and be involved with Beth again because we have a good partnership there.‘You want to play with the best players and I think them two have the qualities to really push on. Playing with Sam is going to be exciting because I think we work well with each other, we know what each other’s weaknesses and strengths are so we work off each other – Hopefully we can get a load of goals together.‘
How to follow and how to watch today's game
The game will be available to watch live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer with coverage starting from 12.15pm.
If you are unable to tune into all the action, you can support the Blues via our social media channels. There will be live commentary on our Twitter account, plus regular updates on Instagram and Facebook. Search ‘ChelseaFCW' on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date!
Please note this game is being played behind closed doors due to government guidelines regarding coronavirus, therefore, we encourage all fans to follow the match from home.