Read what our gaffer has to say about the upcoming season…
Sian, the new season is upon us, you must be looking forward to starting at Keynsham on Sunday?
“We are really excited to get this new squad out, onto the pitch. It has been a long pre-season with a lot of ups and down within it, but I am really pleased with the squad we have pulled together.”
It has been a bit of a transitional period for the Club after moving down into the FA Women’s National League, but we now have a chance to get back on our feet?
“There has been a lot of movement in and out of the Club and we are going to use it to our benefit.
“We are going to really try and lay down some foundations and show our identity as a team and a Club.”
Is that one of the positives about being in the league below as it gives us a chance to showcase some of our younger academy talents?
“It gives us the opportunity to get them out onto the pitch and get some minutes and exposure for them. I think it is vitally important for their development.
“Millie and Faye have been around the first-team squad for a long time now, so I am really excited to give them the opportunity against some tough opposition.”
You have given the captain’s armband to Florence Gamby, what was the thinking behind that?
“It was a no-brainer within the group because of the experience she brings and the natural leadership she has on and off the pitch. The conduct and standards that she holds is absolutely fantastic.”
Courtnay Ward-Chambers is back out on the grass and right back amongst it. Surely that has to be the biggest positive from pre-season?
“She has had a really tough time over the last couple of years. It has been really difficult but she has been nothing but consistent and resilient to everything that has been thrown at her.
“To see her back on the pitch and training at the level she has been is just exciting for all of the coaching staff, particularly to the ones that are new and do not know what she is about.
When you began the Summer recruitment, what areas did you look to improve on and how happy are you with the players that have come in?
“I am really pleased. We have recruited from a lot of different areas and have got ourselves a good mix. There are some experienced heads as well as some younger players who are looking for the opportunity to step up.
“I am so excited to work with this group of players going forward because they are so hard-working, so willing to learn and the work rate has been there which has been great to see.
Heading into Keynsham on Sunday, there will be plenty of new opposition this year. In some ways we are going to be one of the teams to beat given our background in the WSL and the Championship. How important is it to take every game as it comes and show what we are about?
“It is going to be a massively competitive league this year with the additions that have come in and the recruitment that has been done by several different clubs at the top end of this league has been fantastic.
“Like you mentioned, we are going to take each game as it comes and focus on ourselves so that we can develop as a team. Hopefully the positive results come along the way.”
Lastly, fans will be back in stadiums this year. We will have out supporters at home with us in just over a weeks time. How nice is that going to be because we have had to wait longer than anyone? November 2019 was the last time since the Bees fans saw us play in person.
“I am massively excited for it. I feel like I cannot remember what it was like playing in-front of a crowd. It is always great to have the 12th man backing us and the players will be buzzing to have the Bees back in the ground!”