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Fletcher feeling fresh and fully prepared

"I feel like I’m in such a strong place mentality, physically and I’m ready for the season”

11 September 2020

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Ellie Fletcher is eager to start the season on a positive note, as Rovers Ladies prepare to face Charlton Athletic in the team's first home game of 2020-21.

The south London club travel to Lancashire on Sunday (1pm kick-off) following a 2-2 draw in their FA Women's Championship season opener against Crystal Palace last weekend. 

While Fletcher is anticipating a tough clash against the Addicks, she says it will be good to get back to the Sir Tom Finney Stadium and play a competitive game there, albeit behind closed doors. 

“It’s a great home facility, we love playing there and we want to make that our fortress so that teams are afraid to come to Bamber Bridge," the defender said ahead of the game. 

"They know that we’re going to put up a great fight there and it’s a good place to be. 

“It’s strange, it was difficult at first because we love our fans being there, cheering us on, but hopefully they can soon. 

"It has taken a while to adapt, I think, but it’s the same for both teams so it’s something we have to deal with and hopefully soon we can invite the fans back."

Reflecting on Rovers' defeat against Leicester City Women, a 3-0 away loss, Fletcher believes there is still a lot the team can take from the game.

And after several injuries, including one that disrupted her start to life at the Blues, she admitted it was nice to start the game and come through it unscathed. 

“Sunday was a really difficult game, we knew that, the 21-year-old continued. "But defensively we were solid, we fought for every ball and it was just a really difficult result. 

"I thought without the red card we could have potentially been able to get back into the game. On a personal note, it was really good to get minutes under my belt and hopefully push on now.

"I’ve not had the best time with injuries but I’m just hoping to be able to put that behind me now and really kick on. 

"I feel like I’m in such a strong place mentality, physically and I’m ready for the season.”

Rovers only faced Charlton once last season, winning 2-1 away from home, but while Fletcher hopes for a similar result this time around, she believes there is now even more quality within the opposition ranks. 

She added: “There were two great goals down there and hopefully we can do the same on Sunday. But all the teams have definitely improved this year, the league is going to be really competitive. 

"I think we’ve grown as a squad, we’ve strengthened, so it should be a really good game. Obviously, we go into every single game wanting to win, we don’t shy away from that. 

"We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get results and I think every single game we just want to work hard and win."

Read more from Ellie Fletcher's interview in Rovers' all new digital matchday programme, which will be available to download for free on Sunday morning! 

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