Villa Ladies preview: Follis relishing 'friendly' clash with West Brom
Emma Follis is relishing the derby buzz of taking on West Brom on Sunday in the League Cup - and facing her good pal Louise Fellows.
Winger Follis is best mates with former Villa central midfielder Fellows but that will be put to one side with bragging rights on the line in the clash at Boldmere St Michaels.
Follis said: "It's always a good atmosphere against West Brom. There's obviously that derby fever in the men's game and it's the same with the ladies.
"It's a game we want to win because of that but, more importantly, to progress in the competition.
"Our record in the League Cup hasn't been brilliant over the past few years so we're determined to do well this time around.
"The gaffer Joe has reiterated to all of us that if we're in a competition, we're there to win it. We'll be giving it our all on Sunday.
"Obviously the game will see me take on my mate Louise. It will be strange playing against her. She was at Villa only last season. But that will all be put to one side when we go up against each other at the weekend."
Villa Ladies go into the game on the back of five wins in a row and Follis insists confidence is sky-high in camp.
She continued: "We're buzzing. Things have really taken off these past few weeks. It was a bit of a slow start but there have been some changes and it always takes time.
"Joe took over and obviously we've had quite a few girls come up from the academy. Things don't click straight-away in football, you need a bit of patience.
"But we've been improving each week and bonding more and more over time as we get to know one another and what Joe expects of us. We're flying now and long may that continue.
"I've been really impressed with the younger girls who have come into the squad this season. It's given us a new-look and it's made for a big, strong squad. Look at Maddy, who joined us from Leicester. She's been terrific since she joined."
Follis has been at Villa for 12 years, flying up through the age groups year after year.
And she's loved every minute of it, playing as she does for her favourite club.
She added: "It's been great. I support Villa so I wear that badge with pride every time I put the shirt on. I think it's good times ahead with Joe.
"He came up from the academy coaching system and he's been great. He's very calm and collected and good with the girls.
"He knows when to be critical if we're not doing what he expects but he's very level-headed with his approach. I have been impressed."
Get along to Boldmere St Michael's Ground [Sat Nav: B73 5RY] to support Villa Ladies. Admission is £2.