Walsall Women Manager Steve Guest is hoping to see all the hard work the team has done during the summer come to fruition when they take on Darlaston Town (1874).
The team will kick-off their season at the Poundland Bescot Stadium on Saturday (6pm kick-off) and will be aiming to get off to a positive start.
It’s been a busy pre-season for Guest who will be aiming to compete at the top end of the West Midlands Regional Women's Football League Division One North.
He feels this game in front of a good crowd at the Poundland Bescot Stadium will provide a good marker for the team and everyone is excited for the new campaign.
“They’re looking forward to the start of the season to see where we are and where we’ve come from after last season,” he said.
“There was a lot of rebuilding in the summer, not just players but adding more backroom staff in to help the girls.
“We’ve now got access to the physio, we’ve got our own Strength and Conditioning Coach, myself and Matt (Willis) have stayed on, Lucas the Goalkeeper Coach has stayed on so we’ve got a real backroom environment which then has a positive effect on the players because they see that we’re bringing the right people to help them develop and to go and win games of football.
“Playing Darlaston at the Bescot is that first step into where we need to be, where we need to go and let’s put all the hard work that the ladies have put in into the first game and hopefully, we do well this season.”
Guest is expecting the league to be a strong one this coming season and is anticipating a tough challenge from the visitors.
“Darlaston are a good team,” insists Guest.
“They’re well organised and they’ve had some good pre-season results, like ourselves. You never know with pre-season, you could go undefeated and then not win a game in the league so you never know what team you’re up against in the first two or three games of the season because everybody goes out, they strengthen and get new players in, especially now more players at the top end have started to filter down into the regional leagues.
“Locally, with Stourbridge doing so well, Wolves, West Bromwich Albion are on a rebuild and Sutton Coldfield, there’s always players from those teams who have been promoted probably not being in those teams so they filter back down and start again.
“Darlaston will be a real test for us to see where we are and see where Darlaston are in the league so we can figure out where we will hopefully be at the end of the season.”
With the women’s game continuing to grow and with the success of the Lionesses, Guest is hoping any young girls watching at the Poundland Bescot Stadium will be inspired to play football themselves.
“The women’s game is growing day by day,” he commented.
“You look back on the last two or three years, we’re European champions and we got to the final of the World Cup and for us that’s magical.
“Every single young girl out there who wants to get involved, play football whether it’s local grassroots or the wildcat sessions that football clubs do in local communities.
“Any girl who wants to play football, it’s the right time to start going out and playing because years ago you got to a certain level, like the Lucy Bronze story, she was told at 12/13 that she couldn’t play with boys but you look at her now and she was the star right-back for England in the World Cup final.”
We hope to see as many supporters as possible stay behind after the match against Colchester and support the girls!
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