• By Paul Lagan

Kirby on opening day fixture against Manchester United: We need to be ready from the first whistle


EXCLUSIVE

Fran Kirby is one Chelsea player looking forward to the opening WSL1 fixture against Manchester United more than most,

Kirby missed a large chunk of the champions' season due to illness but has worked had to recuperate and get back onto the training pitch.

She completed a behind-closed doors match earlier in the week - the whole 90 minutes and is working even harder in training to be ready for the weekend of September 5/6.

She was delighted with her fitness progress and is ready to put the illness firmly where it belongs - in the past.

The two opening WSL1 fixtures were announced this morning and the Blues will head up north to face United. They then return home to Kingsmeadow, where they will play Bristol City.

Kirby said of the battle-royal encounter up North: "It's very exciting, hey!! Of course.

"We’re really looking forward to the first fixture - it starts the new season and one that we’re all desperate so play in.

"Starting off against Manchester United is really exciting for us. It was a good game at our home last year so we need to make sure we’re ready to go from the first whistle.

"We’ve been working really hard so far in pre-season, and now we have the fixtures, I’m sure the intensity is only going to get higher and higher."

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