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Rachel Corsie: My delight at Aston Villa move after emotional turmoil of shock Kansas City Current axe

Rachel Corsie has signed for Aston Villa.
Rachel Corsie has signed for Aston Villa.

It turned into a very exciting week as I signed a two-and-a-half-year deal to join FAWSL side Aston Villa.

The team is growing in stature within the English women’s top-flight and the prestige of the club as a whole – as former men’s European Cup winners – speaks for itself.

After just a few days in my new environment, I am looking forward to the next couple of years even more.

On Saturday, Villa will face Chelsea in the FA Cup and it is great to be back in the UK and to have an immediate reminder of the blockbuster matches which lie in store.

The opportunity to move back didn’t come around in an entirely positive manner, however, and the last few weeks have been a turbulent time for me.

After agreeing a rewarding contract extension in summer to stay in the US with Kansas City Current for another two full seasons – and having also been named captain around the same time – it was a surprise when my agent was told a few days before Christmas I was not to return.

The emotional turmoil of being told you are no longer wanted at a club is part of the professional game, but that doesn’t make the words any easier to hear or, certainly in this instance, to try to rationalise why Kansas City had come to their decision.

Rachel Corsie (white kit) in action for Kansas City last season.

I am yet to be given a reason why the club no longer wanted me to play for them, and I may never get a satisfactory explanation.

Change is challenging at the best of times. Then there is the added mayhem of the US sports structure where transfers between clubs have to be done via a “trade”.

After weeks of conversations along with some other difficult discussions, the opportunity to move back to the UK, and to the WSL with Villa, felt like the best move, and a clean break for me and my family.

I have certainly loved my seven years in the US – playing for Seattle Reign, Utah Royals and then KC, and I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunities granted to me both on and off the pitch.

I flew out of Aberdeen airport for the long trip across the Atlantic in February 2015, and it has been action-packed from the minute I touched down at Seattle-Tacoma and waited for my then-host family, the Bridges, to collect me.  They are family for life now.

As I have travelled the US, and moved from Seattle to Salt Lake City to Kansas City, I have met some absolutely amazing people I hope I will remain in touch with going forward. Those individuals have been as a much part of the journey as the football, and it has all added up to incredible memories I will treasure forever.

I leave the US feeling extremely proud of what I have achieved on the field. To have amassed more than 100 games in one of the best leagues in the world is an achievement I hold dear, and I have also enjoyed some career highs during my time in the States.

An improved display against Rangers would be progress for Aberdeen

This weekend’s SWPL 1 action will see Aberdeen Women host league leaders Rangers.

The last time the sides faced one another on league duty was back in October and it was a rather one-sided game at the Rangers Academy, where it finished 8-0 to the home side.

While this gulf is undoubtedly expected, given Rangers’ significant budget and full-time professional status, Aberdeen have a good foundation themselves to continue to steadily build from. A much better performance and scoreline will be certainly hoped for.

The Reds going into the game on the back of two wins, as they eased past Hearts in their last league game 4-0, then followed it up with a 4-2 win against Glasgow Girls in the Scottish Cup – not to be mistaken for Glasgow City, as some Twitter fans thought, but I enjoyed the hype the team were given either way.

Aberdeen Women take on Rangers this weekend.

Meanwhile, Rangers have won every game since November 1 and look to be in relentless form. Their full-time environment is certainly impressive and so is the quality and athleticism of the players at their disposal.

It is going to take a very resolute and organised performance from Emma Hunter’s team, along with a little luck, to get a result.

In the rest of the league action, Glasgow City are the early kick-off as they welcome Hearts in their quest to keep up the pressure at the top.

Celtic are also at home, and they face a Hamilton side who have not earned a win in the league since September.

The final fixture will be a mid-table clash between Motherwell and Spartans.

Improved maternity and sickness cover is a step forward

There was really positive news through the week that the FA and PFA have agreed new terms which  will see female professional players given far more substantial maternity and long-term sickness cover.

The improved provisions go above and beyond the minimum standards recently introduced by Fifa across all professional leagues under their regulations.

The policy changes are a landmark improvement and are a very welcomed positive step for the professionalism of the game.

Meanwhile, USWNT captain, Lindsay Horan, has signed an extension with her parent club Portland Thorns until 2025, however, will begin the year in France on loan with Lyon.

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