Sophie Harris is heralding a new start after enduring a testing 2013 – and the London Bees captain cannot wait to make a significant contribution in building her new club from the ground up.
Football took a back seat for Harris following a family bereavement at the end of last year, but she’s now refreshed ahead of a newly expanded FA Women’s Super League season.
Goalkeeper Harris has switched from two-time Super League champions Arsenal Ladies to London Bees, who will form part of the freshly introduced second division for the 2014 campaign.
With injuries also troubling her last year, Harris is happy to start afresh and believes she is just the person to tackle any first-year teething problems that lie ahead for the Bees.
"My mum passed away, which had stopped me playing on and off.
"She told me to do whatever I wanted to do, so I’m going to keep her with me and hopefully she’ll be with me through the season.
"It’s a new start for me and it’s about getting back playing. I want to start fresh. It’s good feeling knowing that they’ve seen my capability and that I can do well for the team.
"It doesn’t matter whether I’m captain or not, I have to make sure I get that first-team spot and compete against the other keepers in the squad."
Harris, an England Under-20 international, has not long met many of her new teammates at London Bees with trials being hosted ahead of the new season.
But she believes unfamiliarity can be a help rather than a hindrance – and has not ruled out springing a surprise against some of more established teams in the second division.
Despite entering uncharted territory, Harris says the Bees are ambitious: "We’re not going into this thinking it doesn’t really matter what we do this year – we want to show we can cope against teams like Sunderland and Doncaster in particular."
The FA Women's Super League has been newly expanded to two leagues for 2014. To watch all 18 clubs live in action buy tickets here: http://www.ticketstores.co.uk/fawsl