Elite Level Football is all about embracing challenges. And that's why Aife Haran is actually looking forward to Saturday's clash with champions Peamount United.

Haran and her Athlone Town team-mates would have every reason to be nervous ahead of the trip to PRL Park - especially since their opponents are top of the table after four wins in a row.

However, 19-year-old Haran has adopted a no fear attitude as they look to secure the best possible outcome from what will be a tricky fixture in the SSE Airtricity Women's National League.

Speaking to Breifne Earley and Meabh de Burca on the FinalWhistle.ie podcast, Haran said: "We're going in open-minded. Obviously we want to get a result whatever way, then again we're not kidding ourselves.

"Obviously they are top of the table, they are a top-class team, but we're going to up and try our best...if we can get a draw, absolutely brilliant, if we can get a win, even better, but we're not thinking too far."

Athlone should have a full squad to pick from with both Fiona Owens and Muireann Devaney available following suspension. And manager Tommy Hewitt has been using training sessions to implement a specific game-plan.

Preparing for a game against the likes of Peamount is not such a daunting task for Athlone any more, mainly because of everything that they learned last year in their debut season.

For Haran, who signed for the club from Sligo Rovers Under-17 side, the learning process has been an enjoyable one as she continues to develop as a player in the top tier of women's football in the country.

"I'm learning a lot, especially playing against the top teams like Peamount and Shelbourne, they play such a fast-paced game. Every game I'm learning from and it's been really, really fun," said Haran.

"The pace of the game [has been the biggest challenge], especially in midfield, you do not get a second to think. They are attacking you straight away and you need to make up your mind really quickly. Even fitness-wise, it's just a whole different ball game."

Quick decisions and a lot of effort will be required by Athlone this Saturday, but that is the least Haran would expect as she prepares for this next challenge.

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