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Women's Football News
Unbeaten in their opening four games, Oldham Curzon have made a promising start to the new season and key midfielder Emma Gaynon believes that they can be among the Championship challengers in the Northern Division.
The Lancashire side have been one of the most consistent teams outside the top flight in recent years, including two runners-up finishes and fourth place last season, and Emma told Women's Soccer Scene that they have the potential to go all the way. "Everyone's playing well and we're looking decent," she says. "Once the season gets going we'll be a little bit fitter and we'll be alright.
"Hopefully we can go that one better this time, and I don't see why not. We just need a little more consistency, we can always score goals but we need to concede a few less."
Emma feels that new arrivals over the summer have done the squad a power of good. "The new players are all settling in well, and now there is a lot more pressure to keep your place. We have a few players who have been with the club for a number of years, myself included, players such as Stacey Marsden and Claire Harrop who have given a lot to the club. However there might have been a bit of complacency creeping in over the last couple of years, now we have to work hard for our places and that is doing us a lot of good."
It was a summer of change for Oldham as they have moved to their temporary home at Hyde whilst their new ground, the home of Curzon Ashton, is being built. Emma reveals that they are more than happy with the move: "The pitch is lovely, absolutely brilliant! It could have been really difficult but everything has been made easier for us - the ground is fantastic and everyone's making us welcome."
Emma is enjoying a good run of form in the Oldham midfield, and has netted in each of their last three games. The recent 5-2 victory over local rivals Stockport County was notable for the fact that Oldham's goal machine Kelly Dean did not get on the scoresheet, but the prolific striker's name has been synonymous with the club. "Kelly always gets the headlines and all the credit," laughs Emma, "and we give her a lot of stick for it! But it's all good natured, we are all good friends and we really appreciate her.
"Our other striker Nicky Maylett is a very underrated player. She always works hard and usually gets on the scoresheet, and she brings the best out of Kelly - they have a brilliant partnership."
So can Oldham bring home the title this season? "Other people probably have less expectations of us, as we are an independent club," replies Emma, "but we set ourselves higher targets every year. A few years ago we only missed out by one point to Leeds and our aim is to win the league this season - we're out to win it. If we can get a good run going, we feel we can beat anybody.
"We don't have the backing that other clubs do, but we have a number of people, including Graham Shuttleworth and David Ryan, who work incredibly hard behind the scenes.
"Sunderland will be up there, Aston Villa will be strong and Blackburn could well challenge. It's a tight division where teams like Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday can threaten but we will know a bit more by Christmas."
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