Jordan Nobbs backs new recruit Fara Williams to shine at Arsenal Ladies

22 March 2016 03:53

Jordan Nobbs believes new recruit Fara Williams will prove hugely influential for Arsenal Ladies as their Women's Super League challenge begins on Wednesday's opening night.

The recent deal to bring in Williams, England's most-capped player with 151 appearances, sees her united with Lionesses colleague Nobbs, and indicates Arsenal's ambition in a league won last year by Chelsea Ladies.

Once the dominant force in English women's football, Arsenal won nine consecutive league titles until in 2013 their reign was ended by Liverpool, for whom Williams was a key performer.

Liverpool won again in 2014, and with last season's title heading to west London this is a year that sees Arsenal hungry to reassert themselves.

Now 32, Williams remains a first-choice selection for England manager Mark Sampson, and Nobbs expects to gain from playing alongside her every week.

"The last few years I've improved a lot just being at England with Fara, and I've learned a lot from her," Nobbs said, ahead of Wednesday's home match against Reading Women.

"When I was told we were adding her to our team I was very pleased to have a player as experienced as that.

"I'm still young and have a lot to learn at 23, so hopefully she can improve me as a player and hopefully I can help her along the way too - maybe just with the running."

Nobbs may one day rival Williams' England caps haul, having already risen to the vice-captaincy role, but the more immediate goal is to ensure Arsenal enjoy a successful season.

Their Spanish boss, Pedro Martinez Losa, has a number of new faces at his disposal, with Nigerian striker Asisat Oshoala having followed Williams from Liverpool, while Germany centre-back Josephine Henning has also joined.

After last season's third-place finish, Arsenal are looking for an improvement. The strength of Chelsea and Manchester City Women could make it a three-way battle for the title.

"It's very exciting for us this year," Nobbs told Press Association Sport.

"Last season we didn't have the strength in our overall squad, whereas now we might be leaving big players out of our team, international players, so we have the competitive side and have to keep everyone happy. I believe in myself and the team that we can do very well."

Wednesday evening also sees Manchester City launch their bid for a first WSL1 title when they play Notts County, and Liverpool start against Birmingham.

Chelsea begin their campaign at Doncaster Rovers Belles on Thursday.

Source: PA