Laura Bassett: Chelsea identified Salah, Matic being capable of instant impact; My big Chelsea move; Support from Buck and Mourinho
Chelsea Ladies defender Laura Bassett discusses her move from Birmingham City, the early impact the club has made on her and also relates to how new Blues' signings Mohamed Salah and Nemanja Matic will be settling in.
Having already received that support with my move to Chelsea, I'm sure that it will be a seamless transition for both players.
For me, being able to join Chelsea for preseason was important because our summer seasons are short and intense. So being present from the beginning enabled me to immerse myself in the Chelsea culture and style of play.
For Salah and Matic, with their experience and quality as seasoned professionals, I'm sure they have been signed because they already have the attributes to play for Chelsea and can adapt quickly.
I'm thrilled to make the move to Chelsea.
Chelsea FC is a massive club with a mentality to match. The staff and players at Chelsea Ladies FC are extremely ambitious and have a clear vision. They ooze passion and conviction about exactly how they want to achieve their targets. The player recruitment drive for this 2014 season has been extremely impressive, reinforcing the direction of the club and the commitment to it. Collectively, this was convincing and refreshing to hear.
An early introduction to our ambitions was the tour of Japan.
Some might consider the December trip for the International Women's Club Championship, as a mini prep for preseason! It certainly was an amazing experience and opportunity for all involved. Not only did we get the chance to compete against strong opponents in Sydney FC and INAC Kobe Leonesse, we were also able to experience the Japanese culture and engage with so many aspiring young Japanese footballers as well as do our bit in the local community with a visit to a welfare centre and school.
It was also so special to see how much the tour meant to our Japanese star Yuki Ogimi. It was wonderful to feel the love and devotion from her fans in her home nation. For her to be able to lead the team, showcase her club and teammates, must have been a proud moment.
Chelsea have a fabulous group of defensive players with such admirable abilities. I specifically enjoy watching and learning from David Luiz. I admire the way he confidently switches from controlling midfield positions to central defensive ones. He consistently wins the ball, starts an attack in such a fluid and composed manner.
It is absolutely brilliant that chairman Bruce Buck, Jose Mourinho and all at Chelsea FC are behind us, supporting and rooting for us. We love and appreciate being able to share and use Cobham and its world-class facilities.
I have to say, this doesn't bring extra pressure, it breeds and instils a confidence and reassurance, that the Chelsea family believe in us.
We've now completed our first week of preseason training. It felt great to be back in a competitive team environment.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable week with some intentions, standards and foundations already being laid down.
I knew signing for Chelsea would prove to be a huge challenge for me, both on and off the pitch. The timing just felt right. I am ready to continue to learn, adapt and evolve as a person and player.... the Chelsea way!
Follow Laura: @laurabassett6.