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Women's Team midfielder Fran Sullivan delighted with positive start to the season

After joining the Reds from Sheffield FC Ladies in the summer, midfielder Fran Sullivan has been a key figure in FC’s strong start to the season. Six goals and a handful of assists in her opening four games in Red have helped FC maintain a 100% league record to this point. A Player of the Match performance that included a first United hat-trick for Sullivan in Sundays 13-0 league win at Liverpool Marshall Feds Reserves was one that our new signing was more than impressed with.

"The team’s performance on Sunday was probably the best I’ve seen since joining the club. We tried a slightly different formation which played to our strengths all over the pitch and every single one of the girls embraced the change which is why we were so successful!"

The midfielder may have already notched in six goals from her first four competitive appearances for FC but she knows more than anyone that a relationship has certainly developed in recent weeks with the woodwork! It made Sunday’s hat-trick an even more enjoyable for our no.7. "It’s become a bit of a joke with the girls about how many times I’ve hit the post or bar! I wouldn’t describe myself as a natural goal-scorer so I was delighted to get a hat-trick on Sunday. We focused on forward play and finishing in training so I’m glad I could put that into the game".

After an eye-catching dink over the keeper to opening her personal account for the day, a swept home finish just before half-time saw Sullivan double her account for the day. But it was the third goal that was the talking point from the spot after our new signing was handed the ball to complete the hat-trick, an act she is very grateful for. "I have to thank the fans for that one! They were encouraging me to take the penalty and thanks to Kirsty [Chambers] for handing me the ball!"

Sunday’s game saw Sullivan link-up as part of a new setup with familiar team-mate Cara Fields after the latter became the Reds’ latest signing last week. Fields had previously played with Sullivan at both Sheffield and Manchester City and the midfielder is delighted to have her old friend back alongside her in this FC team. "Cara is a great player that I’ve played alongside in midfield for a number of seasons previously so although it was a slight change [Formation on Sunday], it didn’t faze us too much because we play together so well. I’m looking forward to seeing what she can add to an already amazing squad".

Despite Fields being the latest new face in the side on Sunday, it’s only three months since Sullivan became a Red herself and admits that there were a number of factors that persuaded her to come to Broadhurst Park. "It was mainly the girls themselves, how welcoming they were when I came down to training. The standard of football that they played really surprised me; I wanted to be a part of this team which I knew would be going places".

"Then of course Luke [Podmore] and Mark [Partington], their enthusiasm, love for the club and determination to make sure that this team is successful. So I couldn’t say no really and I wanted to do my bit to help achieve the targets!” added Sullivan.

Admittedly Sullivan has played at higher levels of the Women’s game so far in her career, but has been impressed with everything about the club since walking through the doors. "I’ve been really impressed since day one! The setup of the club is amazing and the fan base is incredible every week! We have a very talented manager in Luke who’s dedicated and obviously knows the game. So it doesn’t really matter what league you’re in, as long as you’ve got the quality players and a great team behind them, you’re onto a winner".

With no cup games for another two weeks, the Reds have the chance to build on last week’s away win and put a string of wins together in the league starting with the visit of Northwich Vixens to Broadhurst Park tomorrow. Sullivan believes that every league game will be important this season if the Reds are to achieve what they are capable of.

"Home form will be crucial this season but I feel like every game is huge for us if we want to achieve what we’ve set out to do across the next few seasons. As a squad we just need to stay focused and see the job out each and every week".

You can see Sullivan and the Reds attempt to keep up their perfect start to the 2017/18 season when we take on Northwich Vixens tomorrow afternoon in the league at Broadhurst Park (3G) - 2pm KO!

We hope to see you there!

By Mikey Partington

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First Posted ~ 20:08 Sat 7 Oct 2017
News ID ~ 7621
Last Updated ~ 20:08 Sat 7 Oct 2017