England and Fulham midfielder Katie Chapman is the latest player to join TheFA.c
England and Fulham midfielder Katie Chapman is the latest player to join TheFA.com as a guest columnist and here Katie, who's currently starring with Fulham in the UEFA Women's Cup, kicks-off her new campaign...
Hello everybody, I hope you are all well and looking forward to the new season. We have been back in training at Fulham, which has been going great. We have only had a couple of sessions but we have been working hard.
The first sessions for me were quite hard as I haven't played that much since I gave birth to my son Harvey back in April but I feel that I am getting back into it now and my fitness is still pretty good.
Although we have turned semi-professional this season things are pretty much the same. We have still got the same old faces there like Kim Jerray-Silver, Sanchia Duncan and Rachel Unitt but there are also some new faces that have come in. Things here will be the same though, we have a good side and the new signings seem to be settling in fine.
All the girls at Fulham have made them feel welcome and they are all good players. The main difference between this year and last is that we are training less now. We are only doing Tuesday and Thursday nights and some Saturdays so it is a lot different.
This season we also have a new manager after Gaute Haugenes returned to Norway. Marieanne Spacey has taken over and she is doing really well. To have a manager with her experience and her great coaching ability also her perspective as a player can only be good for the team. The training with Marieanne is a lot different to last year. We have varied sessions with good fitness work but most of that is with the ball, which is good. You are going to be playing with the ball so you might as well train with it!
It seems to be working as well as we have just won the Community Shield, beating Doncaster Rovers-Belles 1-0 at Mansfield which was great for us and we've started off well in Europe with an 8-0 win against the champions of the Faroe Islands. We are a new team now with new players involved so to go out there and win is good for the team.
With the new players in the team I think we gelled well in the FA Community Shield. It was a tough game and we had only had one game together before that game together so considering that we did pretty well. It was my first competitive game for a long time but I felt very good in the game. I felt fit and I think I did okay! I am just glad that we won.
This season, though, I do think that we have got a point to prove, just because we are now semi-professional that doesn't change a thing we still want to win and be the best. We are the reigning champions and we won both the League and the FA Cups and are in Europe as well.
We still have the heart and the passion to go out there as a team and do our best, so we will just see how the season goes. We are starting the season in the UEFA Cup which has been a great experience for me and the team so far. We are just trying to do our best and see what happens.
Well it is goodbye for now and I will speak to you soon.