Ylenia Priest: It's a long term plan we are working towards
After signing in the summer, Ylenia has started all 3 competitive games so far for Millwall, and at the age of only 16, seems to be settling down in South London pretty well.
The defender has shown high levels of maturity for her age and will continue to grow this season, especially under the influence of Chris and Pedro.
After 3 defeats on the spin now, Ylenia knows there is still more work to do on the training ground, but believes the squad are definitely going in the right direction. "The girls have stuck together as a group this week and we’ve had a chance to reflect on the few matches and improved on certain aspects during training. We haven’t let the results of the three previous games affect our spirits and I’m positive that we will come back stronger."
A young defender with such a bright future, Ylenia has had to get used to a lot of variation already this season, the defender was in a backline with Ellie Stenning for the visit of Lewes, who is not naturally a defender, but Ylenia coped with it well and didn't allow the nerves to get the better of her. "To be playing first team for Millwall Lionesses at my age will always be a very proud moment for me and it gives me huge pride every time I pull the shirt on each week. I always believe nerves are a good thing before matches and they make sure that I’m focused and ready to go. It’s also never easy for someone to play a new position for the first time so I have to credit Ellie for doing such a good job in last weeks game."
Ylenia is one of many youngsters, in fact the average age of this team is around 18, The club clearly have long term plans and Ylenia wants to be part of them plans, It's certainly got the potential to do well in the coming future and Ylenia believes it is only a matter of time before the wheel starts to turn in favour of Millwall. "The team and the club are definitely working towards a long term plan, and with time I’m confident that we’ll be up amongst the best in the women’s Championship."
After starting the first 3 matches, Ylenia will be hoping this is just the start in what is a very long winded season, The defender has impressed so far as she looks to ensure she is one of the first names to be on the team sheet and she believes the game time she is getting will only make her a better player. "It’s very important for me to be getting first team minutes and experience, as it’s a huge opportunity to grow and develop as a player whilst being able to compete against some of the best strikers in the country."
With multiple rotations in Millwall's backline already, Ylenia has been paired up with different team mates each week, something she understands will take time to gel with each team mate but is excited to pair up with whoever starts alongside her, The young defender has said she will play her game the same way, no matter who she is with and shows just how much good competition there is for places. "It always takes time to gel with your partner at the back so things like communicating more and covering each other better are examples of certain things that may be adjusted slightly. Personally, I don’t change my playing game at all I just might need to communicate more with players in new roles.