Women. Kelly: 'We are living the dream'

29 Nov 23

Emma Kelly became one of the few players to have represented Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough this summer when she signed for Becky Langley's Newcastle United Women team

The 26-year-old midfielder, who has experience in the Women's Super League, has helped the newly-professional Magpies go 13 matches unbeaten at the start of the 2023/24 season, and was quick to praise her team-mates for the way they have gelled so quickly.

"I think there is always that bit of pressure with Newcastle being such a big club, for us to be doing so well in the league but we have got to remember where the team has come from,” she told nufc.co.uk.

"This is the first season of us going professional and the first season of us being together. It's not by luck that we have all clicked and done really well together.

"I think it is from higher up, the management and the players; we have such a good group that are willing to work for one another. It's such a great atmosphere within the team and that has definitely contributed to our momentum.

"But we don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves. We just want to take it week by week, put the work in and make sure that we control what we can.

"We are living the dream a little, but hopefully, that's what we have got to work with. Hopefully, that's what we can keep doing going forward."

Newcastle welcome West Bromwich Albion Women to Kingston Park on Sunday, with Langley's side sitting just one point off the top of the FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division.

Despite the Magpies' 3-0 victory over the Baggies in the Sela Cup at St. James' Park in August, Kelly says that United's approach will not change for their visit.

"I think one thing that we are all trying to focus on is not saying which games are big games and which games are small games. We want to approach every single game like it's a potential league promotion game," she explained.

"We don't want to be belittling any club depending on where they are in the league and we don't want to be putting clubs higher up (in our minds) because of where they are in the league. We just want to stay level-headed and approach every single game in terms of how important it is to get three points.

"That's just our focus, week in, week out. We don't want to look too far ahead and we don't want to be looking too far back about how well we are doing. It is easy to get bewildered by it all so it's about just having that same focus."

The midfielder, who says that the warm welcome from Newcastle fans has helped her settle at the club quickly, cannot wait to take to the pitch at Kingston Park once more this weekend.

"We always look forward to playing in front of our home fans," she said.

"I think it can be quite intimidating for the away sides who come to play us, knowing how many fans we get and the noise they do make; it is our 12th player on the pitch. It makes such a difference.

"All it takes is for the fans to get behind you and it can change the game and change the atmosphere."

Kick-off at Kingston Park on Sunday is at 14:00 GMT and tickets are on sale here. The match will also be shown live on NUFC TV and Newcastle United's official YouTube channel.

Photograph courtesy of Colin Lock

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