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Olivia Chance speaks

26 September 2020

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Midfielder Olivia Chance says she can't wait to get back onto a football pitch after joining the club ahead of this weekend's clash with London Bees.

The New Zealand international joins the Blades after two years in the FA Women's Super League with Bristol City and previously Everton, bringing both quality and experience to Neil Redfearn's side ahead of her potential debut against the Bees on Sunday.

Chance, 26, like everyone has missed being able to play football regularly but she's looking forward to getting back to business after signing a short-term contract with the club.

"It's always exciting to be joining a new club and to play football, especially this year when there's been so much inconsistency. I'm looking forward to maybe having a bit more of the ball than I did last season, playing for a team that is so strong in their league. My qualities are suited to an attacking style of football and this team attacks a lot."

Chance joined the team for training this week as Neil Redfearn prepares his side for a return to league action at home to the Bees this Sunday.

United have taken four points from two tough opening games and sit top of the table after the first couple of games, and Chance has been impressed with her early sessions with the squad so far.

"It's nice to be back playing. The sessions have been good and I've enjoyed the intensity, the short, sharp nature of them. I'd had some good discussions with Neil beforehand and I like him as a coach and as a person. I think that really helped my decision to come to the club.

"It was about him wanting to get me back into football, conversations around the vision for the club and how they're backed by the men. That's important to me because I think that backing of women's football in a club is important going into the World Cup period for me with it being a home one. I like that side of it and obviously just for me getting back out playing, I need to be playing and enjoying it, so it's a great place for me to be."

Chance represented her nation at last summer's World Cup in France, starting all three of New Zealand's group stage games, including against European champions and eventual finalists Netherlands.

She scored her first goal in her last camp with the team at the Algarve Cup in March before the COVID-19 pandemic put pay to the sporting calendar.

"It's been nice to be back after so long. I had a slight knock earlier in lockdown which was good for me timing wise but obviously COVID has gone on a bit longer than expected!

"My last training session with a team was with New Zealand in March when we were in Portugal. I'd just scored my first goal for New Zealand and then COVID hit!"

An attacking midfielder, Chance should be able to thrive in a team which boasts a front three who all already have two goals each just two games into the season.

An eye for goal herself, the 26-year-old is sure to further increase competition in the Blades midfield and is looking forward to the prospect of playing behind the likes of Jade Pennock, Katie Wilkinson and Mel Johnson.

"It's a dream for an attacking midfielder to have such clinical finishers in front of you. It almost makes your job easier because you know if you play them the right passes, they're more than likely to finish them.

"I hope to create opportunities, that's a big one for me. We have such a strong attack, so I want to create opportunities for those in front of me and if I can score myself that's always nice. I'm a hard worker, I prefer to play higher up but I can do a bit of both."

Sheffield United Women host London Bees on Sunday 27th September, 2pm, the game will be played behind closed doors. Extended highlights and the full match will be available to watch on Monday on the FA Player.

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