Manager James Marrs praises: “The club is moving on and that’s a huge thanks to all our volunteers”

Man ager James Marrs reflected on a busy week for the club as they welcomed BBC Radio Kent to follow behind the scenes at life at Kent’s best women’s team.

With two Cup games and a fundraising night besides the regular weekday training, it was a hectic couple of days for those involved with Gillingham Ladies but one that will prove valuable as the club seeks to develop.

After a win away at Eastbourne, Marrs took his side to Parkwood Rangers in Bexley as they begun their defence of the Kent FA  Women’s Cup. The Gills came away comfortable 4-0 winners but Marrs revealed he was far from impressed with his teams first half display: “Today was about the performance rather than the result which is the same that we try to do every week and that’s why we were bitterly disappointed with the first half as it was very poor.”

“In the second half we actually turned up and begun to play a bit and the tempo and quality were raised as people wanted to get on the ball. It was 10 times better in the second as our substitituions changed the game completley and we had a bit more purpose.”

Cup competitions sometimes allow management at Gills to play around with formation and give players on the skirt of the sqaud some valuable match time. Marrs told us; “We’ve played the formation on Sunday a few times before and it’s something the girls are used to.”

“We approach every game seriously and we don’t rock up at places like Parkwood today and expect a rollover. We know we have to work hard in every single game and with regards to the formation, it was the same we played against Chesham in the Cup and it’s just like I said it wasn’t working in the first half because we were lacking in our performance.”

Marrs was quick in turn to praise his team’s opponents who left Gillingham Ladies frurstated for long periods of the first half: Parkwood deserve a lot of credit, I thought they worked really hard and might have nicked one if they’d put away one of the couple of chances they got but their attitude was really good and they fought to the very end.”

“You can’t fault them as when you’re three nil down it’s very hard to get motivated and try to get yourselves back in the game but they tried to and all credit to them.”

Marrs admitted he was pleased to make it through to the next round of a competition the club holds dearly: “The Kent FA Women’s Cup is one we prioritise and one we feel we have a good chance of winning, along with a couple of other clubs. We don’t take it lightly and we want to win this cup so we’re going to do everything and anything we can to win this comprtition. Starting off today it was a good win for us and another clean sheet.”

Whilst the Gills unbeaten run continues, Marrs was able to reflect on his side’s two performances: ” I was disappointed Thursday night and the first half on Sunday but on the positive side we’ve scroed nine goals and conceded none, so if you’d have offered me that last week I would have taken it. Our second half performance today was fantastic, much better, a brilliant tempo, quick passion and one-twos and combinations were going on. That was really good to see.”

“We played some ok stuff Thursday night but Thursday night was a bit more about a going out there, putting on a professional performance and getting the win. It’s been a good week and we’re ready to start again Tuesday for the weekend’s match against West Ham. It’s a huge game for us – it’s one of the biggest we’ve had so far this season.”

Marrs confessed his players feel like they have something to prove on Sunday: “We’re looking forward to it because we didn’t do ourselves justice when they came to our place, we didn’t play that well and that’s a bit of credit to them.”

“But the girls want to go out and give a good account of themselves and there’s always that bit of rivalry with West Ham because we’re not that far apart from one another so we’re looking forward to it. It’s always a good game against West Ham too.”

Finally, Marrs paid tribute to the club’s volunteers who’ve worked to help the club move forward: ” I want to say a huge thanks to Charlotte for her hard work, we’ve had Claire Cottingham from BBC Radio Kent come which has helped raise the profile of the club massively.”

” All our media team are working hard to take us to the next level to reflect what we’re trying to do on the pitch. The whole club is moving on in general and that’s a huge thanks to all our volunteers, Julian, Simon, Martin, Jack Bill, Chris and many others. All those volunteers are taking us in that direction and this week has been brilliant in helping us develop.”

” Fingers crossed that can continue, and if it does continue there’s no reason why we can’t move to the next bracket and be a club that everyone aspires to be.”

If you want to be part of the exciting development going on at Gillingham Ladies email info@gillinghamladies.co.uk

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