Natalie Haigh is looking to rediscover her love for the game after signing for Aston Villa Women.
The defender spent time at Coventry United and in Denmark with FC Nordsjælland last term before deciding to take a break from football.
And after joking that she had to work hard to convince Head Coach Gemma Davies to sign her, Haigh is on a mission to prove she still has what it takes to play in the FA Women’s Championship.
She said: “I stopped playing halfway through last season and fell out of love with the game a little bit. It was a personal aim to get fit and see if I could still play at this level.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given with such a big and well-respected club. I’m just looking forward to getting my hands dirty and supporting the girls in any way I can.
“Gemma’s a coach that I’ve admired for a while now. What the team did towards the end of last season, it’s been really obvious to see why they achieved that. The environment here is fantastic and everyone here wants to work hard for the coaching staff.”
Haigh’s top flight experience from her time at Yeovil Town will be a valuable asset to a squad that is aiming to earn promotion to the Women’s Super League.
The centre-back believes the club have put things in place to be able to challenge for the one promotion spot in the Women’s Championship and she’s looking forward to playing her part in helping Villa to make the dream a reality.
She said: “With the team, everyone wants to be vying for promotion. We’ve got the set-up, the players and the staff here to do that.
“Personally, I’m not under any pretence that I’m going to walk straight into the team and that really motivates me.
“I’m a bit of a bruiser, I know how to defend, I put my body on the line and I think I’m a good leader. Hopefully I can do a good job for the club.”
See Haigh and Aston Villa Women in action during the 2019/20 season by becoming a Season Ticket Holder here.