Arsenal captain Kim Little has admitted that she is seeing the benefit of retiring from international football, having hung up her boots with Scotland and Great Britain in the summer.
Little has been one of the standout players in the WSL so far this season, with the Gunners topping the table after eight games, and will be crucial in Sunday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.
With three sets of international fixtures already this season, the most recent of which only finished this past Tuesday, Little has had additional chance to rest and focus on her club.
“I made the decision over a long period of time, so I prepared myself for it mentally,” she explained.
“I think, naturally, I miss being with the group of players and the team that I played with for so long. But I’ve stayed away from it because you can get quite nostalgic looking back, so I’ve tried to avoid that so I can move forward. Right now, I’m just looking forward and using the time to help me as best possible to be in the right place to perform for Arsenal.”
The Gunners have had to play more games than usual this season because of their return to the Champions League, including qualifiers, and the new group stage format that guarantees clubs reaching the final 16 will play a minimum of six games before the knockout rounds begin.
“I think because we’ve had such an accumulation of games, the Champions League and that change of format – and I’ve played a lot of minutes, once that international break comes, I do feel a bit overloaded,” the Gunners skipper revealed.
“I’m able to manage that by having some days off, so I do think it has benefitted.”