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Fidalgo already feeling part of the City Family

MERRY MATILDE: New recruit Matilde Fidalgo is settling in well on and off the pitch

MERRY MATILDE: New recruit Matilde Fidalgo is settling in well on and off the pitch

The Portuguese defender says she already feels a firm part of the Manchester City family despite having only joined the Club last month.

The Portuguese international right-back arrived at City earlier in the summer from SC Braga as one of several exciting newcomers to Nick Cushing’s squad.

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With the new FA Women’s Super League campaign less than a fortnight away, Fidalgo is now gearing up for a bold new challenge here in England.

Following several weeks’ intensive work on the City Football Academy training pitch as well as a productive Women’s International Champions Cup campaign in North Carolina, the 25-year-old said she already felt an integral part of the City set-up.

And Fidalgo thanked her team-mates and members of City’s staff for helping make her feel so at home so quickly.

“Everyone has been really nice. There are a lot of new players in the team and everyone has made me feel welcome,” said Fidalgo.

“Having foreign players in the team also helps because they know where I’m coming from.

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“They know it’s hard to be comfortable in a new country. It’s a normal feeling and there are different habits, but everyone has been very helpful.

“Some of the new players arrived for pre-season before the rest of the squad, which helped. Most of the team played at the World Cup and then had a break.

“That gave me and the others time to get used to training and the coaches, and find our way around the City Football Academy. We had some time to get used to things so it wasn’t as overwhelming as it could have been.”

Reflecting on our recent week-long trip to the United States where we played both North Carolina Courage and Atletico Madrid in the Women’s International Champions Cup, Fidalgo said the mini-tour had been a huge help to the City squad’s preparations for the new season - both on and off the pitch.

And, along with our CFA-based pre-season work, she said the American experience had also proved another vital building block in helping the newcomers to the Club quickly become integrated into the squad.

“It was awesome. Pre-season tours are always nice – you get to spend a lot of time with people,” Matilde added.

“It can be challenging because it tests how teams get along during long periods together – there’s tiredness and your level of patience can go down. You need to be tolerant towards each other.

“Being away gives you the chance to hang out and get to know people.

“I loved the weather too! That was very good.

“The tournament gave us a chance to compete with great teams.

“North Carolina Courage were in the middle of their season and their level was amazing, and Atletico Madrid and Lyon are of course, great teams.

“It’s (pre-season) is going well. It’s been a hard couple of weeks, as I’m getting used to the different ways of working but I’m enjoying the challenge.”

City kick-off the 2019/20 Super League campaign with a mouth-watering Manchester Derby, hosting Manchester United on Saturday 7 September at 3pm at the Etihad Stadium in the first encounter between the sides since the league was formed. Tickets are available and kids go FREE – witness history!

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