Nathalie Bjorn is in for one thing of a baptism of fireplace on the weekend.
Having signed for Everton in July, the Sweden worldwide travelled virtually right away for the Olympic Video games over the summer season – and first matches of the season do not actually get a lot harder for the Blues.
In entrance of what’s going to hopefully be a packed crowd at Goodison Park, Everton will welcome Man Metropolis to kick off the 2021/22 Ladies’s Tremendous League.
For a crew with the ambition of the Blues this 12 months, which entails the signing of Bjorn herself amongst different high quality arrivals, this might be the earliest potential indication of the place they’ll stand this time period.
“It will be a very powerful take a look at,” the defender instructed the ECHO.
“I have not performed towards English groups within the Champions League both!
“It is a completely different sort of soccer, it goes loads sooner than in Sweden. We watched the sport that we performed towards Aston Villa and there are issues occurring on a regular basis.
“It’s worthwhile to be ready each right here [in your mind] and in your physique, nevertheless it’s why you play soccer.
“We’ll do our greatest and we need to win that recreation after all.
“We’re a brand new squad and we have not been coaching a lot collectively, we got here in late, nevertheless it’s a great take a look at and it will be good to see the place we’re and what we are able to enhance and take with us.
“I like to play large video games and I believe everybody within the crew likes to play large video games, particularly at Goodison Park with followers and the ambiance.
“I actually really feel like that is going to be a great 12 months.”
Saturday’s match will, in some methods, really feel just like the end result of a journey that has lasted virtually eight months for Bjorn.
Her arrival at Everton was solely confirmed in July, however curiosity within the 24-year-old was evident from again in January.
Each supervisor Willie Kirk and Sarvar Ismailov, the ladies’s sporting and industrial director, have spoken extremely of Bjorn’s abilities and their need from proper at first of 2021 to convey her to Merseyside.
Now that the defender is lastly with the Blues, she is seeking to immediately work along with her new boss in her makes an attempt to turn out to be one of the best participant she will be able to probably be.
“I believe it was round January [the interest started], however I do not keep in mind precisely,” Bjorn added.
“I do know they [Everton] confirmed curiosity in me, and simply once I began to speak to them I acquired a very nice feeling. You realize when your tummy is simply saying that is the proper factor to do?
“I went with what my physique mentioned and it has been good up to now.
“I need to play as a lot as potential after all and develop as a participant to provide the crew my qualities, and assist the crew go so far as we are able to.
“I actually hope that I can do this.
“Like I’ve mentioned beforehand, we take a look at soccer in related methods. He [Kirk] sees me as a participant that I see myself.”
And what kind of participant is that?
Bjorn remarked: “I see myself as a central defender most, that is the place you get my qualities out essentially the most.
“I wish to play out from the again, enjoying via the traces to get different gamers in good positions. That is the place my specialties are and that is the way you get them out from me.”
Transferring to a brand new nation and new model of play is a tricky state of affairs throughout all walks of soccer.
It is no completely different for Bjorn, who’s settling into her new surroundings on Merseyside properly, however she does have some assist in that regard.
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The Sweden worldwide is joined in signing for Everton this summer season by Anna Anvegard and Hanna Bennison – who had been each a part of the identical Olympics squad to agonisingly end second on this 12 months’s video games in Tokyo.
The pair additionally performed for Rosengard, the place the 24-year-old was signed from, and they’re all serving to one another to settle into their new environment in a short time.
Bjorn admitted: “It is a new surroundings, new teammates, new league, new nation – the whole lot.
“But it surely’s been wonderful, the women have been very nice to me and it is beginning to really feel like residence.
“It is wonderful to have them [Anna and Hanna] right here, additionally that we’ve two Danish gamers within the crew as properly, there is a little bit of ‘Scandi’ energy!
“However after all it is it is very snug to have each Anna and Hanna with me.”
The togetherness throughout the entire squad has been clear to see for a while on Merseyside.
All through the summer season, the membership have launched quite a few behind-the-scenes movies of the ladies’s crew, together with the lads’s facet, exhibiting the spirit that’s palpable at Finch Farm.
And the hope is that temper, mixed with a successful mentality, will push Everton onto the Champions League locations they so desperately crave this season.
Bjorn remarked: “I believe we’ve a very, actually good squad – and workers as properly. I believe we play a enjoyable soccer, a great soccer that may go far on even a global degree.
“It will be a tricky league, they’ll be powerful video games. However we need to be up on the prime and within the Champions League.
“That is why I signed right here, as a result of I need to be part of that journey. I believe we’ve one thing actually good happening. Hopefully we are going to present everybody the sort of soccer we are able to play.”
“The amenities that we’ve are precisely the identical as the lads’s crew, we’ve the whole lot to turn out to be one of the best gamers we could be. That is wonderful that we’ve these alternatives. It feels like I am residing my dream, however I actually do.
“That is why I needed to play soccer, as a result of I need to be nearly as good as I can, and Everton is absolutely going to assist me with that.
“All the pieces across the soccer membership is so skilled. I’ve solely performed in Sweden earlier than, I have been via loads and performed a whole lot of large video games, however I believe the ambiance and surroundings Everton has each on and off the pitch is a successful mentality.”
All of that may start at Goodison Park this Saturday with probably one of many hardest matches of the season.
Man Metropolis are being backed for a title problem as soon as once more this time period, however Everton have excessive hopes themselves of creating waves on the prime of the WSL.
The Blues will play nearly all of their video games at Walton Corridor Park once more this time period, however need to entice an enormous crowd to Goodison this weekend for what will likely be an enormous event.
And Bjorn can not wait to get in entrance of her new followers already.
The defender concluded: “We hope there’s going to be lots of people, that makes it a lot extra enjoyable!
“But it surely’ll be wonderful to play right here, I’ve regarded out on the pitch now and it seems wonderful. The entire stadium as properly.
“It is a good first recreation to begin right here.”
Everton Season Ticket holders, Official and Lounge Members can purchase complimentary tickets for Saturday’s WSL season-opener towards Manchester Metropolis at Goodison Park. Extra info could be discovered on the official Membership web site, evertonfc.com.