As the 2018/19 season creeps up on us, we follow up our interview with Damion Freeman by speaking to our Ladies team manager, Joe Mctiffen, to find out the in's and out's of pre-season, whilst also looking ahead to life in the Premier division for his side.
SUFC – “Thanks for taking time to speak to the club website, Joe. A the new season creeps up on us, how has pre season been?”
JM – “We have had a really positive start with the ladies working hard in difficult hot conditions. They came back to pre-season with a good level of fitness which is important to us as it gives a good upper hand before we have even started.
So far we have only had two friendlies which have gone to plan and I’ve been delighted with the football we have played.”
SUFC – “Has there been much of a squad overhaul this summer?”
JM – “We are very happy to have kept the whole squad from last year and have made 3 key additions to strengthen the side. Emily Hounsell will be our new goalkeeper after last year’s captain, Katie Burr is expecting her first child. Emily is someone who I have seen playing for Sussex and she is an excellent goal keeper even at a young age.
Summer Dutton is a player I know a lot about and have worked with for many years at Bhasvic. She is a solid defender and will give us necessary strength in defence. Henna Butcher is another that I have worked with at Bhasvic, a box to box midfielder who further improves the quality of our midfield.
All 3 signings add to our already strong squad this year.”
SUFC – “The Ladies team have been a fantastic addition to the club, why is it important for Ladies football to continue to grow in the UK?”
JM – “For me, it’s great to see the amount of opportunities there now are for Ladies football from grass roots all the way through to the professionals.
The number of girls that are participating in football from a young age is great to see and it’s important that this continues to grow so that the Ladies game progresses and the profile is raised.”
SUFC – “So, ahead of the big kick off, what are your hopes and expectations going into the new season?”
JM – “After getting promoted to the premier, we are expecting this season to be a tough one. We know the number of good sides in our league and the quality of football will be increased but we are up for the challenge.
Personally, I would like to aim for a top half finish and to ensure that the girls continue to improve whilst enjoying their football.”
SUFC – “That’s great, Joe, and is there anyone you would like to thank for their hard work so far?”
JM – “There are many people behind the scenes that support the ladies. A special mention to our chairman, Kev who has always backed us and gives us the same opportunities as the men.
The club are very supportive with the ladies team and it really creates a community bond within the club. I’d also like to thank Martin Perkins who is my assistant manager. His commitment to the team has been vital to our success and I look forward to working with him again this year.
A final mention must go to my coach Charlotte Young. Her coaching last year was excellent and really improved the standard of the ladies, she also put in a couple of decent performances herself as well!”
SUFC – “Thank you for your time, Joe, and here’s to another successful season, good luck!”
COME ON YOU TIGERS!