Manchester City ace Casparij is keen to follow in the footsteps of Dutch stars who have shone in the WSL

KERSTIN CASPARIJ hopes to turn her move to Manchester City into a fairy TAYL

As her side meet Marc Skinner’s Red Devils, the Dutch ace could appear in their first derby since joining from Dutch club FC Twente in July.

Kerstin Casparij could start for Manchester City if they face Man United at Etihad in WSL

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Kerstin Casparij could start for Manchester City if they face Man United at Etihad in WSLCredit: Alamy
Manchester United have won seven of their first eight games in the women's Super League this season

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Manchester United have won seven of their first eight games in the women’s Super League this seasonPhoto credit: Getty

The 22-year-old Citizens midfielder, who started her professional career aged 15 with Dutch club SC Heerenveen, is one of seven players to join the Conti Cup champions this year.

And their arrival followed the departures and retirements of several former City aces, including Euro-winning quintet Ellen White, Georgia Stanway, Jill Scott, Keira Walsh and Lucy Bronze.

Casparij, who made 42 appearances for FC Twente and helped her old side win the league last year, said: “Gareth made me very happy to come here.

“When Gareth and I first spoke, he was just really into football, which I liked

“I could really discuss with him what I was thinking or what he was thinking and he was very open about it.

It’s just nice to have this openness when you first talk to a new coach.”

Tonight’s match between Taylor’s side and second-placed Manchester United will be the first league derby encounter between the rivals this season.

The highly-anticipated clash, which is expected to draw 43,000 fans, will see both sides face off at the Etihad for the first time since September 2019.

Back then, the hosts, who are currently fourth, clinched a 1-0 win thanks to a 25-yard knock put in by their former forward Caroline Weir.

The Citizens are yet to lose to United in La Liga and are on a six-game winning streak after losing to Aston Villa and Chelsea.

However, the neighbors currently have a three-point lead in the title race and a place in the top three of the WSL for Champions League qualification.

And last month, Skinner’s side recorded a dramatic 3-2 win over Arsenal in the Emirates.

Casparij insists the team spirit is relaxed ahead of this game.

The midfielder, who has made seven WSL games this season, added: “We’re very down to earth but we want to win every game

“We know we have to and we want to do well in the league this year and win things.

“Everyone is just very relaxed and focused on every game. The main thing is that we don’t get cocky.”

Off the field, Casparij strives to engage with Mancunian phrases.

She added, “I like to say ‘I’m buzzing,’ but I feel like I’m saying that all the time, so I have to come up with some new phrases.

“When I started and did my medical, some players would say things like ‘You’re not a Manc mate’ or ‘Only people who support City are Manc’ and things like that.

“But I don’t want to burn my fingers saying that to anyone because I don’t want to fight!”

Players from the Netherlands have shaped the domestic game in England in recent years, including WSL record goalscorer Vivianne Miedema.

Gareth Taylor's side could draw level on points with the Red Devils if they win their first derby of the season

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Gareth Taylor’s side could draw level on points with the Red Devils if they win their first derby of the seasonPhoto credit: Getty

Other Dutch players who have won trophies on these shores include former Gunners Danielle van de Donk and 2019 World Cup Golden Gloves winner Sari van Veenendaal.

Along with Miedema and former Arsenal midfielder Dominique Janessen, both were part of the squad that helped Arsenal win the WSL League title in 2019.

Casparij, who was part of the Dutch team that reached the quarter-finals of the Euro, said: “The Dutch that were there made themselves great.

Casparij admires the influence of Dutch stars like Vivianne Miedema on WSL

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Casparij admires the influence of Dutch stars like Vivianne Miedema on WSLPhoto credit: Getty

“That might make it a little bit easier for the new generation of girls to get into WSL.

“There’s a reason they’re thriving and there’s a reason we really love being in the UK.

“I think it’s great that they took the first step.”

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6890114/kirstin-casparij-manchester-city-wsl/ Manchester City ace Casparij is keen to follow in the footsteps of Dutch stars who have shone in the WSL

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