"We started last season undercooked - it won't be the case this season.’’ – Head of Women’s Football Ged Maloney previews HTAFC Ladies’ upcoming campaign.
Maloney believes the England Lionesses performances at this Summer’s World Cup will only benefit the exposure and excitement for the Women’s game and he can’t wait for the new season to get underway.
‘‘The World Cup has helped massively with exposure, with TV coverage especially being the key - the viewing numbers have been exceptional and the quality on offer has been a good advert for Ladies football.
“Several England players have now become household names and they can play a massive part in spreading the word and increasing participation.
“Now is the time to make the most of this opportunity and this is one the reasons Harrogate Town are opening a Girls Academy from September of this year.’’
“I can’t wait for the first game on Sunday 18th August.’’
Moving onto all things Town, Ged declared his and First Team Manager Jon Maloney’s targets for a team which have achieved promotion in two of the last three seasons.
"The coaching team have a very clear plan and it doesn't involve consolidation - promotion to the Women’s Premier League within two seasons is that aim, and we believe we have the squad to have a real go at achieving this goal in the forthcoming season.
“We have signed two new players, Rosie Gill and Beth Davies, we have two key players coming back from long-term injuries, Rebecca Wilson and Lindsey Whitton, and we have several players who are on trial now - this will be our strongest ever squad.”
He continued "We have also recruited Ryan Smith to carry out pre-season fitness to make sure that we are ready to rock and roll from mid-August - this will be a crucial determinant to the success of this season… We started last season undercooked - it won't be the case this season.’’
Despite his clear eagerness to see his side do well in the league, Ged also wants Town Ladies to be firing on all cylinders in the FA Cup this season.
"The FA Cup, whether it be the Men’s or Women’s, holds a very special place in the mind of any football supporter, player or coach.
“We didn't do ourselves justice in last year’s competition - win, lose or draw, we will this year!
“Our 1st preliminary Round game is on Sunday 18th August and we are looking to be ready for this fixture and hope it will be the start of a decent FA Cup run.
“Two wins would be the aim, but you are always dependent on a good draw, I'm 63, and the FA Cup still generates plenty of excitement!!!!’’
HTAFC Ladies pre-season fixtures can be viewed via the below link.
By Isaac Martin