Chelsea FC Women captain Magdalena Eriksson will lead her team out at Wembley this weekend and the defender insists the Blues are more than ready for our first competitive fixture since our Continental Cup final triumph back in February.
Emma Hayes’ side will come up against Manchester City on Saturday afternoon in what will be the first Women’s FA Community Shield in 12 years and the first to be staged at the national stadiumChelsea’s last competitive outing was six months ago when we clinched the Continental Cup with a late 2-1 victory over London rivals Arsenal on a chilly evening at the end of February.
Eriksson is hoping to add another trophy to the cabinet on Saturday and said: ‘For us, it is a massive game and it’s the first chance of a trophy for us this season.‘There is going to be loads of opportunities to win trophies this year and that’s what we want so I think for us as a team it’s a massive game but it’s also massive for women’s football.‘We are playing in the Community Shield, we are playing at Wembley and playing against Manchester City who are a great team.‘Sadly we are playing without the fans – that would have made the whole thing perfect.’
This weekend’s game at Wembley will see the much-anticipated return of Fran Kirby who is expected to be in the Blues matchday squad for the first time since our 1-0 victory over Manchester United last November.The 26-year-old was diagnosed with a rare condition called pericarditis but now the forward is back to full fitness and the Chelsea skipper is delighted to have the England international back training with the team.‘I think we all know what qualities Fran has and she’s looked really good this pre-season,’ she added.‘I’m really happy for her, mostly on a personal level. She has worked really hard to get back to this point and I can’t to see what she can do this season.’Our game against City will be aired on BBC One and BBC iPlayer and will be part of a double-header at Wembley with Liverpool taking on Arsenal in the men’s equivalent later in the day.
The Swedish centre-back believes recent developments – including the FA’s decision to re-introduce the Women’s Community Shield after it’s 12-year absence – shows the commitment to women’s football here in England.‘It’s a massive statement,’ she said. ‘I think every women’s footballer, in Europe and in the world is having their eyes in England at the moment. They are thinking, this is where I want to be.‘This is my third year here and every year things just keep on happening. There have been so many great additions to the league and it’s really inspiring to be playing in this league at the moment and I’m hoping that it will shine on pitch with the quality that we have in this country.’
Read: The History of Chelsea Women at Wembley