As Malaga's women's football team completed their third training session of the pre-season eariler this month, the club organised a media day. This provided an ideal opportunity to find out how the team are feeling and what their expectations are for the forthcoming season, which starts on 9 September at home against Atlético de Madrid.
They almost all thought the same, confirming that a great team has been put together and they are only thinking about keeping up in the Iberdrola League in future seasons. We asked eight of the players, including some who live locally, stars of the last season and some of the most notable new signings, the same three questions.
1.With regard to returning to the first division the first thing we have to think about is keeping up at the top. I believe we have the team and technical side to enable us to be among the first eight. Working every day, I think we can achieve a good result and put the team where it deserves to be.
2. Obviously there is more competition now. We have to work much harder, knowing that the 11 new girls are from the highest category and are very experienced. That's a good thing for us. Now we have to learn to work as a team with them.
3. Maybe Miriam, she is a player with incredible quality, experience and professionalism, although we are all going in the same direction.
1. This is a team which works very professionally. It's true that we only went up recently, but I believe that we are going to gain respect in the League thanks to our coach and the work we are doing.
2. There is a good combination of youth and experience and we all want the same thing. I see a very competitive team, with two or three players per position, so it's going to be difficult but very good.
3. I don't know them all very well, but I am impressed by the youngest members in the team, who are really keen. That's very important, they transmit their enthusiasm to the rest of us.
1. The work is going very well. There is competition but it is healthy, not an unpleasant rivalry. I think we are going to do well this season. None of the matches is going to be easy and we'll have to see how they go one by one, but apart from fighting to stay in the division we are going to fight for an objective.
2. This group is just as competitive as last year's. We have to work together, like a family.
3. Dominika, who we call 'Domi', because of her physical potential, and Miriam, because of her calmness and her experience, which helps the rest of the team a great deal.
1. Anyone who says we'll have to fight to stay up doesn't know this team. We will battle for this with teeth and nails and go as high as we possibly can.
2. Obviously, many of the girls already have experience in Primera, which is where everyone wants to be. It's what Antonio [Contreras, the coach] wanted, to introduce more competition, and I think they have achieved that well. In the end competition is good for the players, we need to win our place. Nobody can rely on getting one.
3. I have known some of the players from other teams, but what impresses me most is the intensity. Antonio Contreras' teams are known for that.
1. Obviously, one of our principal objectives is staying up. It will be a difficult championship, especially because of the rhythm, but if we keep up the intensity we show in the training sessions, maybe we can aspire to go very high.
2. There is more experience now. The new players have come from Primera. There is healthy competition, and that strengthens the team. It's all going to go well, because now we have more young players and fewer veterans, apart from Adriana and one or two others.
3. All the players have very good qualities. It would be difficult to single one out, because they all have a really good attitude.
1. Seeing how things are right now I don't think we are 'fighting' to stay up, although it's true that the Primera is more competitive and harder every years. We have a very good team and with the work we are doing I think we could surprise a few people.
2. I think there is a very good mixture of youth and experience. There is enthusiasm, a willingness to work and to learn, and that's important. It generates competition, so the better players are always under pressure and the others are always trying their best.
3. I had already come across Dominika, so I knew how good she is, so the one who has surprised me most is Armisa, who has a spectacular potential and is going to contribute a great deal to the team.
1. We're not just going to fight to stay where we are. This is a competitive team. A lot of the new players have experience in the elite and our batteries are charged and ready to go.
2. There are some players with maturity, others are very strong and powerful and in the short time since we started training the enthusiasm is obvious. I hope we can make a lot of people happy.
3. They are all great players but Miriam, with her experience and tranquility, gives us a lot of security. She will contribute a great deal, but then so will we all.
1. The main objective is permanence, but we are a demanding team and any challenges that come our way are welcome.
2. Some of those who have come are very experienced and that makes us more competitive and stronger. We are all going to benefit from this.
3. They are all good, quality players. That's why I try to learn from them.