by Ben Young
KATY Moran has the honour of captaining her home town club this season, but the new Aston Villa skipper admits she was as shocked as anyone by the appointment.
The 25-year-old has been on Villa’s books for five years now and, after a successful pre-season with the armband, she was asked by manager Joe Hunt to continue in the role full-time.
And the news is still sinking in for the box-to-box midfielder, who will lead the team out for an FA Cup fourth-round clash with Tottenham Hotspur this afternoon.
“One training session, Joe pulled me to one side and said I would be captain for the new season,” said Moran. “I was shocked and I couldn’t believe it.
“It’s brilliant, but I wasn’t expecting it at all – it came completely out of the blue. We have a great group of players and I can’t wait to lead them out this season.
“I think he chose me because of my experience. I’ve been around the club for five years and I’m the second oldest player in the squad.
“Hopefully, I can use my experience in the role and give something back to the younger players.
“I am from Birmingham, so it’s a massive honour to be captain of such a big club. Just looking at the previous captains makes me feel so proud to be given the armband.”
The new skipper is hoping to inspire an improvement on last season’s efforts, when Villa finished fifth in WSL 2 – 20 points behind promoted duo Reading and Doncaster Rovers Belles.
“We would have liked to be closer to the title last season,” Moran continued. “We let ourselves down at points, and our inconsistency in performances was the problem.
“We were losing and drawing against teams we should have been beating.
“At the start of the season, we set out our goals and the inconsistency is something we want to correct this year.
“We have made a couple of good signings, Destiny Toussaint, Nicole Dale and Danielle Lea. They are all experienced Super League players and are looking to make an impact at Villa.”
However, before the league season kicks off in just under a month, the FA Cup is top of the agenda.
Villa edged past Women’s Premier League South side Portsmouth 1-0 in the third round and, with Spurs sitting one place and four points behind Pompey in the league, Moran is confident of making it two from two this season.
“We’d had only four weeks of pre-season before we played Portsmouth in the previous round a few weeks ago,” she added.
“We played well in spells, but we certainly wanted to do better in most parts of the game. Nonetheless it’s a good benchmark to start the season with. I’ve got a good feeling about the Spurs game and I can’t wait.
“It’s not every day you get to lead your team out in the FA Cup. I’m going to have such a big smile on my face. Hopefully, we will put in a performance.”