Anna Patten is enjoying new horizons in her loan spell at Aston Villa, together with working underneath an skilled feminine coach in Carla Ward – one thing that has not been the norm in her profession.
“It’s been great, she’s made me feel very comfortable here and set out the plan of what it’s going to look like going forward,” Patten stated in an unique interview with Sky Sports’ Charlotte Marsh after becoming a member of the membership from Arsenal.
“The relationship she has with all of the gamers is one thing that excites me and it is at all times one thing that is actually good inside a workforce.
“For me as well, I really do appreciate working under female coaches and I haven’t done that much in my career so I’m really going to take this opportunity, especially with someone like Carla.
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“There are a number of feminine coaches right here in the Women’s Super League, however I personally have not performed underneath many. She’s performed earlier than, she understands what it is prefer to play in a feminine workforce and issues like that. Although I hope it is not an excessive amount of of a singular state of affairs, for me, it’s. I simply sit up for that and that player-manager relationship you possibly can have.
“I had some good chats with Carla. She was actually useful in telling me to return right here and to assist me develop as a participant.
“I noticed Aston Villa as a membership the place I might develop, together with the assistant coach being a centre half in his enjoying days, I knew I’d get these little phrases of knowledge as effectively so it appeared like a superb match.
“Also along with watching how the girls have played throughout the season and the ability the team has to play, I think that’s important, and the quality within the team. That was another factor in choosing Villa.”
At the age of twenty-two, it’s the proper time for Patten to unfold her wings. The defender started her profession at Arsenal – a childhood fan of the membership – earlier than enjoying faculty soccer in the United States. She returned to the Barclays FA Women’s Super League a 12 months in the past, however has discovered recreation time arduous to return by in an Arsenal squad jam-packed with stars.
Patten defined: “Although it has been nice at Arsenal and coaching with the standard gamers that they’ve, I simply felt like I wanted to start out getting recreation time now in the WSL, placing my identify again on the market and exhibiting folks what I’m about.
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“It seemed like the right step to come to a club that will help me develop greater as a player and get those minutes.
“What was a bit completely different is for our first week, we had been break up up just a little bit for Covid causes, which is sensible coming again from the break and we had been put into separate altering rooms.
“The facilities are great, the chef is insane, I’m loving the food. The coaches have been in and out a bit, but this week, we’ve started with everyone and it’s really starting to take shape.
“Maz [Pacheco] has been actually useful, she’s one of many gamers I do know the very best right here. But everybody has been very welcoming, I do know Ruesha [Littlejohn] fairly effectively by Katie [McCabe] and he or she’s positively a enjoyable character to be round, serving to me really feel very welcome in her personal particular approach.”
The centre-back has additionally performed at right-back and in midfield in her profession
Patten might make her Aston Villa debut this weekend in opposition to Manchester City. Her goal for that recreation – and the rest of the season – will likely be a clear sheet and three factors as Aston Villa look to push up the WSL desk.
“I’m really excited,” Patten stated of her potential debut. “It’s obviously a challenging game to start, but I think that’s always the best way to start as well, throwing yourself right into the deep end.
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“I believe it may be an important recreation, there’s fairly just a few ladies I do know at City as effectively, which I believe will make it a bit extra enjoyable. I sit up for it and hope I can carry out in the Villa shirt.
“City have at all times been a workforce with a number of high quality and I believe it shocked lots of people with the patch they’d. But if you happen to take a look at City by the years, it is their development of coming again after the winter break and being fairly unstoppable. But we’re positively going to look to cease them this weekend.
Anna Patten is able to make her Aston Villa debut after every week of coaching
“This season, I want to get really good minutes under my belt, develop as a player and I think this is the right club for that.
“With Villa, the goal is to get as many factors as we are able to and hold a number of clear sheets. I believe that is one thing that each defender ought to delight themselves on, that is one thing we’ll positively look to do and it is a focus of ours in this a part of the season.
“Another reason for me coming on loan and getting in minutes is because I’ve been with the England U23s recently, and they’ve been trying to emphasise that they watch every game, so if you’re not playing, how can they judge and asses you?
“So for me, now having the chance to play a number of minutes and show myself, I’m hoping it’ll put my identify a bit extra on the market and take a chance that I can get.”
Developing as a centre half and England hopes
Arsenal have a plethora of centre-backs in their squad, together with Lotte Wubben-Moy
So a lot is Arsenal’s power in depth, Patten has been used as a secondary right-back for a lot of the season underneath Jonas Eidevall, with Noelle Maritz the primary alternative.
But the 22-year-old sees herself as a centre-back, with Arsenal additionally having Leah Williamson, Jen Beattie, Simone Boye, Viki Schnaderbeck and Lotte Wubben-Moy vying for a similar spots.
As Arsenal ready for his or her Champions League marketing campaign in early August, Patten additionally had a spell in midfield – someplace she additionally performed throughout her faculty days – however continues to be concentrating on that defensive function.
“It’s always good to be versatile, but moving forward, centre half is probably the position that suits me best,” she stated.
“I’ve also had those chats with Mo Marley with the U23s, and I’m not saying now that it’s the only position I’ll play, versatility is great, but I think it’s a position I can really star developing and do well in.
“Not going to lie, I like attacking so if I ever can sneak up the pitch typically, I do not thoughts it. But for now, I’m proud of centre half.”
Anna Patten has performed for England at youth group degree, most just lately for the U23s
The affect of England U23s – coached by girls’s soccer legend Marley – is a theme that continues to permeate all through the interview. But with the senior aspect making ready for the upcoming house European Championships, is Patten hoping to stake her declare?
“In the senior team, there are so many strong players that are in contention and lots of players that are coming back,” she stated.
“For me, the focus is just to keep playing now, hopefully keep going to U23s camps. Hopefully if you play your best, that does lend you to a situation where you might get an opportunity where you go to a senior camp.
“I’ll positively take that with each palms and leap proper into it, however I’ll additionally realistically suppose that Sarina [Weigman] has in all probability acquired a pool in the mean time and purely primarily based off how little minutes I’ve performed thus far this season, it is in all probability arduous to place myself in there.
“But you never know what is going to happen over the next four or five months and I’m just going to perform to the best that I can and if it creates an opportunity then it does and I look forward to that, but you just never know.”
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