Gillingham Ladies management team were full of praise for their squad following a weekend away at Nottingham Forest.
Thanks to sponsorship, the Gills Ladies squad were able to travel to Nottingham the night before the game, staying over night and enjoying dinner and breakfast together as a squad. The preparation paid off as the Gills secured a FA Cup Fourth Round spot, thanks to a Charlotte Gurr penalty sealing a 1-0 win.
Manager James Marrs couldn’t conceal his delight at how well the weekend went: “We’re really chuffed with the result, it’s a long way to come and we needed to make sure our preparations were spot on”
“With the distance we had to travel and the fact Nottingham Forest are having a great season so far, I believe this is just the second time they’ve been beaten at home, that’s really good news for us.”
Gillingham Ladies Assistant Manager, Jack Wheeler added, “It was a really fantastic performance over 90 minutes, the girls have done really well, not just on the footballing side but they battled as a team and stuck together which was an extra bonus.”
Jack revealed the Gills management had done their homework on the Northern Premier team in order to give their team the best preparation and detail as possible.
“It’s a really pleasing result as we had a few conversations about how Nottingham Forest set up and like to play and to see that the standards aren’t far apart. Of course before we didn’t know if the Southern Prem would be stronger or weaker than the Northern. “
“I think the girls showed that they’re a top team at the minute and they need to keep pushing forward and use the momentum we’ve gathered and forward that to the games we have over the next few weeks.”
A strong performance and a brilliant result, however James believed had the pitch been of a better standard, the Cup tie could have been better.
“I can’t find the words to describe the pitch. How we managed to play some football in the first half on that surface was beyond me. It was amazing the girls managed to pull out some of the passes they did and do the combos they did on a pitch that was absolutely awful.”
“It was a bit of a shame as I think the game could have been 10 times better if it had been played on a better surface. It could have been a much more exciting game if we could have got the ball down and played but full credit to our girls, it’s a great win and we’re into the next round.”
Finally, the management duo paid tribute to the sponsorship the Gills team received ahead of the tie which enabled them to enjoy such a good weekend away.
“You have to come up the night before to have the correct preparation, it’s so key. We’ve been able to do that due to someone putting their hand in their pocket” said James.
“A huge thank you to those people who’ve helped us with that side of things. Our job is to ensure the girls are as best prepared as possible and we need other people to help us do that, sponsors and different other pieces, to fund that.”
“We’ve had a great night, a nice meal altogether. We were given our new training gear so we looked professional, everyone feels professional and we’ve got the result we wanted. We had breakfast together and then travelled to the game. Having that professional standard has a huge effect on the girls; the girls want to match our standards and they take a professional mentality out with them on the pitch and it blossoms.”
“So it’s a massive thank you to the sponsors who help us out and enable us to travel. We’ve had awful cup draws, away at Coventry in the League Cup and fingers crossed if we nick something there, which will be a very hard task, it’s then Cardiff away. It’s tough on the financial side of things to travel away to all these games, so it’s nice we’ve got a home draw for the next round.”
Jack added, “For the girls to spend the weekend together it really helps build a team spirit and invaluable togetherness.”
The Gills Ladies 2013/14 season continues to go from strength to strength following such a weekend away. The magic of the FA Cup will now be brought to Kent as Gillingham Ladies welcome either Yeovil or Preston North End to Chatham Town. As the only Kent side left in the Women’s FA Cup, stay tuned to our website and follow us on Twitter for more match day information.