Maier excited about ‘amazing’ FAWSL after ‘dream’ Arsenal move

first_imgArsenal’s Leonie Maier is excited to play in the ‘amazing’ FA Women’s Super League after securing a ‘dream’ move this summer.The 26-year-old joined the Gunners at the end of May after a frustrating campaign with Bayern Munich, in which she made just 12 starts in the league.But the defender holds no remorse towards a club where she spent six years, winning two league titles, and is looking forward to the next chapter of her career. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream “It’s a great honour for me to be here,” Maier told Goal.“I’m very proud to be part of the Arsenal family. I’m very happy to be here.“I played six years for Bayern and it was time to start something new,” the Germany international, who has 71 caps and won Euro 2013 for her country, explained.“[Last season] was really difficult for me because I didn’t know the situation.“I had a little injury during the winter break, so I missed three games and it was hard to come back to the starting XI because we had a strong squad in Munich.“We played very well and we had no reason to change anything.“It was a hard time for me but I also learned in this time.“It has always been a dream playing abroad and I think the Women’s Super League has developed in an amazing way for the last few years.Leonie Maier Arsenal 2019“Joe [Montemurro, manager] also convinced me with his idea of playing football.“That is the reason I came to Arsenal. I also would like to win more trophies, with Arsenal hopefully.”That winning mentality should help Maier settle in with her new team-mates, who are targeting further success this season after winning the league last year, securing a return to the UEFA Women’s Champions League.Many of those team-mates are already familiar faces to her too, which has also helped in what is her first move away from Germany.As well as Maier, both Manuela Zinsberger and Jill Roord moved from Munich to the red side of north London this summer, so she is not alone in making the necessary adjustments.“I think that is the reason it was easy for me to fit in very quickly,” she said.“[Zinsberger and Roord] are very good players and will bring a lot with their quality and experience.“Also, the attitude we learned in Germany, it’s a very strong and tough attitude and a lot of pushing. Hopefully we can help Arsenal here with our experience.“I also knew my old team-mates, Vikki [Schnaderbeck], Lisa [Evans], Viv [Miedema]. I knew a lot of players here.“There were other clubs [interested], but I had a very good feeling here with Arsenal, especially with Joe and the whole club.“Here we have professional facilities and I think we can continue to improve ourselves every day. I really like it here.”Leonie Maier Bayern Munich 2016England has made a very strong first impression on Maier, with her particularly impressed with the country’s investment and attitude towards women’s football.So much so, that she has called on Germany to follow the lead of their European rivals.“I think it’s a good sign for women’s football that big clubs are having women’s teams,” she said.“I think Germany has to do this also. We have just Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim, but that’s not that big a club.“I think they have to invest more money also for women’s teams.“In England, it’s a very good development here. It was also a reason for me to come to England because the league here has developed in a very good way in the last few years.”Maier’s competitive debut for the Gunners could come on Sunday, when they open their season at home to West Ham United.Whether that will be from the start or not is unclear – and another sign of how strong Arsenal’s squad this season is.“I think it’s always good for a player to have competition,” Maier says.“You have to work hard and give everything every training and every game give your best performance.“That’s the best way to getting better as a player but also as a team.”Kick off at Meadow Park this weekend is 14:30 BST.last_img read more

CSO farming figures show sheep numbers up 7pc potatoes down 131pc

first_imgUpdated 2.50pmTHERE HAS BEEN an increase in the sheep, cattle and pig numbers in Ireland, the final results for the Crops and Livestock Survey from the CSO have revealed.The figures from the Central Statistics Office have shown a significant drop in the land allocated to potatoes, however, which dropped by 13.1 per cent, down from 10.4 hectares in June 2011 to nine hectares in June 2012.The biggest percentage increase, where livestock was concerned, was sheep, whose numbers increased by over 340,000 in the 12-months to June 2012, with numbers now at 5,170,000. Of this increase, non-breeding sheep accounted for 180,000 (7.8 per cent) while breeding sheep increased by 158,100 (6.3 per cent).The second biggest percentage increase was cattle, whose numbers increased by 261,100 (four per cent) to a total of 6,754,000. Of this, 131,200 (14.7 per cent) were male cattle under one year and 96,800 (14.4 per cent) were male cattle aged one to two years.Pig numbers increased by 1.4 per cent, or 21,600, to 1,570,600. During this time, the number of non-breeding pigs increased by 2.3 per cent while the number of breeding pigs decreased by 6.7 per cent.The number of horses and ponies increased by 5,100 (or 4.8 per cent) to 111,100.CerealsThe June 2012 results indicate that the total area under cereals increased by 17,900 hectares (six per cent) to 315,400 hectares.While there was a drop in potatoes, there was an increase in oats of 2,300 hectares (10.7 per cent), barley by 12,100 hectares (6.7 per cent) and the area under wheat by 3,900 hectares (4.1 per cent).Read: Fodder from France due tomorrow for stricken Irish farmers >last_img read more