BIRMINGHAM City Ladies midfielder Jade Moore is relishing the upcoming Women’s Super League season and believes there is every reason for the Solihull-based club to feel confident of enjoying another fruitful campaign.
Blues will start their WSL1 season at home to much-fancied Manchester City Women on Sunday, March 29 (2pm) and know they face an immediate test of their credentials against the big-spending North West club, who are captained by England skipper Steph Houghton.
However, in a season which looks set to be the most fiercely contested yet in the history of women’s football in this country, 24-year-old Moore believes Blues are capable of emulating and possibly even bettering their efforts of last season, when they fell one goal short of a final day outcome against Notts County Ladies which would have turned a draw into victory and been enough to lift the title.
Instead, Moore and her team-mates suffered the agony of finishing third behind Liverpool Ladies who retained their crown and runners-up Chelsea Ladies, which also meant missing out on UEFA Women’s Champions League qualification.
Having defeated Arsenal Ladies on their way to the last four of Europe’s top competition last season, Blues’ players would have loved another crack at the competition but, having missed out, can give sole focus to the chase for domestic silverware.
Moore said: “Missing out on the title was a cruel way to end last season, but we may look back and say it was the best thing for us.
“It will hopefully help us learn as players and it has given us plenty of inspiration to kick on and try and improve. Sometimes experiencing disappointment can be the motivation you need to ensure it doesn’t happen again and we’ve put last season to the back of our minds now.
“We were given little or no chance of pushing for the title last season and we proved that was incorrect and what we were capable of as a team.
“We are another year older and wiser now and, having kept the squad together and made two quality additions, we should feel confident of challenging the top clubs once again.”
Moore, who has been selected along with Blues team-mates Karen Carney and Jo Potter in the England squad for the forthcoming Cyprus Women’s Cup (March 4-11), will be aiming to be part of Mark Sampson’s England squad for this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada and therefore has even further inspiration to start the league campaign well for Blues.
“Yes, it’s a big year for sure,” said Moore. “The World Cup is sure to be an exciting experience and playing for England in that is massive for me.
“However, I have to concentrate on playing well for Birmingham first and hopefully getting us off to a good start before the season breaks for the World Cup.”
Moore missed some key matches in the finale to the 2014 season and the absence of the talented playmarker from the Blues midfield was clearly evident as a late-season wobble proved costly in the race for the title.
However, Moore believes, thanks to the addition of fellow midfielder Alex Windell from Bristol Academy Women and striker Freda Ayisi from Arsenal, that a greater strength in depth could prove key for Blues this time around.
“It was disappointing to get injured when I did and perhaps we were a bit light on cover,” added the likeable Moore.
“However, I am fully fit and raring to go now and Alex is a great addition in there in our midfield, as she gets through so much work for the team.
“Freda is quick and strong and is a real coup up front. She will hopefully complement Kirsty (Linnett) well in attack because she offers something different. Kirsty would be the first to admit she’s not a physical player and we can already see from training what Freda will add to the squad.”
Jade Moore is again set to play a key part at the heart of the Blues Ladies side. Photo by Jon Mullis.