Reading defender Molly Bartrip admits that she is feeling optimistic ahead of the new Women’s Super League  season.

Bartrip is currently in her 3rd year at the club after joining from Arsenal academy back in 2014.

“I think we have a stronger team this year, with leaders throughout the squad. The girls have so much potential and I believe we will really give the top teams a good test this season”.

The England youth international feels that the new signings added to the squad will only improve the squad with the Royals establishing themselves in the highest tier of England’s top tier in women’s football.

“The new signings have settled in really well and will only make the team better. They bring different aspects to the game that we didn’t have last year. It’s exciting to see what we can do as a group!”

Bartrip will be looking to build on a career full of achievements at club level and on the international stage. She was part of the England under 20’s team that competed in Los Angeles that won the tournament, in which Bartrip captained the side and called it one of her most notable achievements in her career so far.

“The proudest moment of my career would be captaining my country in Los Angeles and winning the tournament out there.

You can’t explain captaining your country. There is no better feeling than singing your national anthem and knowing you’re making your family and your friends proud”.

The Royals aren’t in league action until the 22nd April when they travel to Bristol for the league opener but they face a stiff challenge when they visit league champions Manchester City Ladies in the FA women’s cup this coming Saturday. Bartrip remains hopeful of getting a positive result however.

“We’ve been working really hard in training, learning new styles and the coaching staff have been so supportive of us. It will be down to work rate and desire on the day but I believe we will give them a good run for their money”.

One player who the Reading defender was full of praise for was a player she is likely to face on Saturday. Manchester City’s Lucy Bronze. She described her as an “absolute machine”.

“The best player I’ve ever played against has to be Lucy Bronze. Her engine is unbelievable, she’s like a Duracell bunny! Absolute machine!”

The defender also admitted that she doesn’t fear going into games against featuring  world class players and just concentrates on enjoying her football.

“I’m lucky I don’t really get nervous, I just go out and enjoy what I do, that’s when you play your best. There is always that excitement knowing you’re going to be against the top players but it teaches you where you’re at compared to them!”

The former Arsenal academy player, was full of praise for her parents for the support they’ve shown her over the years, especially her father who drove her up and down the country  in the early stages of Bartrip’s career.

“I’ve only ever looked up to one person in my career and that’s my dad. He taught me everything I know and as much as I can be a pain I know he enjoyed driving all over the country for me. Maybe not so much when he was stood in the freezing cold and hailstones! I can’t thank both my parents enough for the support they give me. They are both my idols and always will be.”

Bartrip also feels that women’s football has completely transformed since the Olympics with big name stars wanting to play over in England in the WSL.

But she does admit more could still be done to expand the women’s game to a wider audience across the globe.

“Ever since the Olympics, I feel the game has completely transformed with more players wanting to come and compete in the WSL. I still believe the women’s game needs more publicity but I think it has certainly developed over the past few years and it’s exciting to see what will happen in the near future.”

Molly and the rest of her Reading team mates will be looking to upset the league champions, Manchester City, this Saturday in the 5th round of the FA Cup and build on a positive performance in the league which kicks off on the 22nd April against Bristol.