Summer signing Ilestedt excited to get started

Summer signing Amanda Ilestedt is excited by the prospect of making her club debut, as we look ahead to our UEFA Women's Champions League qualifier on Wednesday. 

Our Swedish centre-back, who joined us from Paris Saint-Germain this summer before heading off to the World Cup, had a spectacular campaign in Australia and New Zealand.

Sweden made it to their second successive World Cup semi-final before being defeated by eventual winners, Spain and Ilestedt clocked up four goals in the process - just one behind Golden Boot winner Miyazawa Hinata. 

"It was amazing," she said, reflecting on the tournament. "We were very close to getting to the final, but I think in general, we can be very proud of how we played.

"I really enjoyed playing football out there and it was a great experience."

With her focus back on club football, Ilestedt has quickly settled into life at London Colney alongside her Swedish teammates, Stina Blackstenius and Lina Hurtig. 

"I have to say they have been great. The players, the staff - all the members of the club have been very welcoming. So it's been a great time. A great first week, I’d say.

"I'm very excited. I'm really happy to be here in Sweden and to have the opportunity to make my first game with the club. It feels great."

Ilestedt is no stranger to our next opponent Linkoping, having played in the Swedish Damallsvenskan for eight seasons for Jonas Eidevall's old side, Rosengard. She anticipates a difficult contest as we attempt to book our place in the final round of Champions League qualifying. 

"Our first goal is to win and to go through to the next round, but it will be tough. We know the Swedish mentality and every time you play a Swedish team, we know it is going to be tough. They have good duel players and they will fight until the end."

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