“I've not always got the answers, but I pretend that I do! I go and try to make as many connections as possible to help the players, and also build up their own profiles.”
Change has been well and truly afoot in south London at the beginning of the campaign.
As well as the aforementioned new Head of Women’s Football and new head coach, Palace have appointed a new captain in Aimee Everett; welcomed a new assistant manager in Adam Jeffrey; and began playing their home fixtures at a new home ground, Sutton United’s VBS Community Stadium.
Having been so deeply connected to Crystal Palace Football Club over the last three years, what has Nicol made of the Women’s team’s bold new era this season?
“In some ways it feels like I'm at a brand new Football Club,” Nicol beams, “but it still feels the same in my heart.
“I feel like we've just stepped it up… well, I'd say a ‘notch’, but that wouldn't do it justice – because I feel like the club’s gone way beyond that.
“The club has shown so much care in their women’s team. They've appointed amazing people to take it forward, andtrusted in the staff on the ground to drive it. They’ve moved us into the Academy’s training facilities [last season].
“This year, we’ve obviously moved our home pitch onto a fantastic grass facility at Sutton. It's just unrecognisable in so many different ways, and for me to be involved… I don't want to say ‘at the start of this journey’, but it very much feels like it's the beginning of something really special.