Manager Takes Positives From Tough Preseason Opener

9th July 2018

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First team manager Alex Cheal believes there are plenty of positives to come out of Cheltenham Town Ladies’ preseason opening friendly despite losing 7-1 away from home to Welsh champions Cardiff Met.

“We always knew that this was going to be our toughest start ever to an FA WNL preseason and temperatures of over 30 degrees certainly didn’t help. Cardiff Met showed why they only lost twice last season, being well organised and fitter than us. Their players came back earlier than ours as they prepare for European competition and it showed.

“We emulated Southgate and went five across the middle in the hope of swarming their midfield and for the first 20 minutes it worked admirable. However, the ref didn’t play with any linesmen (even though they were available) and we conceded a break away goal that was clearly offside.”

With six players making their debut for the Ladies and Amy Leask making a long awaited return from injury, Alex rang the changes throughout the game fully using all the 14 players that were in his squad.

The Ladies continued to play the ball out from the back and  passages of play were often very encouraging although clear cut chances were rare.

Cardiff, with a much bigger squad to rotate, extended their lead as the game wore on and again some of the goals were questionably from offside positions. But the Ladies didn’t quit trying and got a well deserved consolation in the dying minutes from new striker Rhian Robbins.

“I can’t fault any of our players for their desire and commitment,” Alex said. “I am excited for the season ahead. Our new players bedded in well while our overall levels of fitness and stamina will only improve as we approach League action on 19 August.”

 

Squad: Norman, Christopher, Walters, Brown-Wealls, Briggs, Leask, Winters, Hateley, French, Berry, Briscoe, Robbins, Rowlands, Levett.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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