For City defender Leila Ouahabi, the goals for the upcoming season are clear.

The versatile Spaniard is set to enter her second campaign for the Club in 2023/24 after arriving from Barcelona last summer.

Across her maiden season at the Academy Stadium the classy, modern full-back made 23 appearances in all competitions while registering one assist as we reached the Continental Cup semi-final and narrowly missed out on European qualification on goal difference.

It represented a productive and impressive first season outside of her homeland following illustrious spells with Valencia and Barcelona where she won 15 major honours with the latter, including the Champions League.


And continuing to fight on all fronts for Gareth Taylor’s side is a high priority for Ouahabi across the next eight months.

“This year we want to finish as high up as possible, improve on last year, to be fighting for every trophy available this year and to qualify for the Champions League,” she explained.

“I’m feeling very good, much better. I almost feel like I’m from here! I’d adapted to the weather too. I’m very happy and looking forward to start the new season.”

City begin our Barclays Women’s Super League campaign with a trip to West Ham on Sunday 1 October before facing Chelsea at home in our second assignment.

As our meticulous pre-season preparations intensify before we face the Hammers, Taylor’s team enjoyed a valuable 3-2 friendly victory over Bristol City last Saturday.

The meeting with the Vixens ended a four-month wait since our last fixture – with Deyna Castellanos and Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw on the scoresheet alongside an own goal.

And Ouahabi believes the already tight relationships within City’s ranks are strengthening further ahead of the curtain-raiser in London.

She added: “It [pre-season] is going very well! We’re working very hard, this has been a very complete pre-season and with very positive feelings. The truth is that the team are working very well.

“This stage of pre-season is very important in connecting with the other players and connecting with our style of play, which we want to play. These are very important.

“These [West Ham and Chelsea] are matches that will be highly competitive, and it’s going to be very important for us to start well.

“Most of all winning and showing our style and competitiveness, so that people can see that we want to win.

“Playing games of this level is always important for us, we always enjoy playing them. In this case it’s against Chelsea, who are a great team.

“These are games that we want to win, but also to demonstrate who we are.”