After seven years away from north London, Lianne Sanderson is ready to start her first Women’s Super League season. Back at home. Back at Arsenal.
A youth academy graduate, the England forward won every trophy possible with the Gunners during a six-year spell in the first team before spending time in the United States, Spain and Cyprus.
Sanderson marked her return to England with a goal against Millwall in the fifth round of the FA Women’s Cup and she is ready to make her mark in Arsenal’s WSL opener at Notts County on Thursday.
"It’s great to be around my family and my friends because I’ve been gone for five years, so it’s really nice. I don’t like the weather that much but it’s something I’m trying to get used to!"
“It’s about experience,” the 27-year-old said. “I don’t think you learn unless you get experience and America included some of the best moments of my life. I loved playing there, I love the country, I’ve got my green card now so I can still consider that my home.
“I am really home now. It’s great to be around my family and my friends because I’ve been gone for five years, so it’s really nice. I don’t like the weather that much but it’s something I’m trying to get used to!
“Everyone’s tried to make me feel welcome and it’s been nice. Sometimes, because I’ve played here for 12 years previously, I think people don’t see me as being a new player. Sometimes I do feel like a new player because the team’s completely changed since I was here the first time around, but I’m hoping we can do big things this year.
“It’s a big season for everybody as we’re preparing for the World Cup and it’s important for me to put myself in an environment where I feel I can be successful. I don’t have to be involved with every play but the little things that I do and my experience can help the team. When it comes to it, I want to win and that’s the most important thing.
“Notts County have got a lot of players that we’re familiar with from the England squad and they’ve got a lot of experienced players too," she added. "We’re not going to go into the game thinking that the opposition is weak. We have to turn up on Thursday and I’m very excited for the first game of the season.”
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