This season has seen big changes for the women’s team, after having a consistent management team and a body of players that have been at the club for many seasons. Once Jacquie decided to step up to board level and several players made the decision to retire, we had to start the process of rebuilding a team and looking to support those players who did decide to stay.
There have been several players that came in to bolster a squad that was thin on the ground and both sets of players have quickly become a team that works for and with each other. The players who were already at the club deserve great credit for welcoming the newcomers and making them feel comfortable joining the team.
Whilst attempting to gel the players, my main focus has been to play a more attacking style of play. That has seen us scoring a great number of goals – 13 in the past 4 games – but unfortunately, at times, we have been caught leaving gaps once we commit players forward.
The support that I’ve had from the board, and especially Jacquie, has been fantastic, allowing us to add a second training session a week, supporting the medical side, and allowing me to get the team to play a brand of football which is high risk. Once it is bedded in and we add a few players, the team will be able to complete with the top four in the league, rather than consolidate each year by staying in the league.
The players and staff have worked hard to drive the team forward, despite facing opponents with big budgets who have played in the top tier of the women’s game for a number of years. I am sure that these players can achieve the ambitions that the club and myself have, if we get consistency of availability and performance.
My aim for the new year will be to take training, player support and expectation of the players to another level. In order to win we need a professional approach from all concerned. The key for me is the detail: we need to step up training attendance, availability of players for games, coaching practices and medical support.
We play in the top tier of winter football, and to play at this level takes a huge commitment, often costing players money to play by leaving work early or traveling to training. We need to recognise that unless we do more than our opponents and make sacrifices, then we won’t get the rewards.