Villa Ladies sign four new players for Super League campaign
Villa Ladies boss Joe Hunt has moved quickly to ensure his side are ready for the Super League by snapping up four new players.
Emily Owen and Natasha Baptiste have been signed from West Brom while Lauren Walker and Hannah Williams have joined from Wolves.
Hunt is thrilled with the captures and sees them as integral members of his squad ahead of the new campaign.
Owen [far left] is a centre-half, Baptiste [second from left] is a powerful forward, Walker [second from right] is a left-back while Williams [far right] plays at right-back.
Hunt said: "The pieces of the jigsaw are being put in place ahead of the new season.
"I feel as we step up a division that we need to be more defensively sound. It's great that three of our four new players play at the back - and they have good experience of playing senior football.
"I am thrilled to sign Emily. I watched her all last season and thought she was a class act. She's a centre-back but can play centre-midfield or left-back, if needed.
"I saw her in the County Cup final against Coventry and she was head and shoulders above everyone else.
"We now have great competition at that position now - there's Emily, Dani, Jade, Erin and Katy.
"Lauren is a classy left-back who can also play left-midfield. That means she'll be perfect when we change formations from game to game. Her versatility will be a real asset.
"She's got real pace too. She can get up and down the pitch really well.
"Hannah is a great player. She's a right-back who can also play centre-back. She's superb defensively and can get forward too. We're thrilled to have her.
"Natasha is a quick, powerful forward - a classic No.9. That power and strength is something we've been missing up top.
"She can stretch opposition defences - she scores goals and gives us a real threat."
Heading out the exit door is Aoife Mannion, the centre-back joining Birmingham City.
Hunt added: "We've very disappointed that Aoife has left after seven years at Villa.
"She captained the team and we saw her as an integral part of the set-up going-forward.
"But if a player doesn't want to play for the club, we won't stand in their way."
Villa Ladies are now back in training and will play friendly games over the next few weeks.
The Super League season begins in April 2014 while the team's new Development Squad start their campaign in September 2013.
To ensure the senior players keep up to speed, several will play for the Development Squad over the coming months.
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