Following Sunday’s 2-0 defeat in the FA Cup game against Arsenal, in which two goals by England international Kelly Smith separated the sides. We caught up with Manager James Marrs and Assistant Jack Wheeler who were full of plaudits for the team, James had the following to start with;
“I’m immensely proud of them, to go out there and hold them out for 63 minutes and conceding that was a penalty. With just one goal in open play on 80 minutes, to be strong that long is tremendous. The belief we had in the group confirms how special it was and the talent we have in the squad. Arsenal are were we are inspiring to be, and today I don’t think we did any injustice, it shows that we can and want to compete at a level we want to get too. For our players to see and experience that was much more rewarding than the result.”
Jack was also very full of praise of the girls efforts in preparation and during the game;
“They did everything we asked the girls to do, even from the start of training for the game. They took those and put them onto the pitch during the game. That’s all we could ask for, we gave them the tools to go out there and make a good accredit of themselves and they did that. At half time it was still 0-0 and we were in the game, a target we laid out was to get in with no silly goals in the first half, to be able to go into the second half and maybe get something. The desire, the work rate and the shift each of the girls put in today was tremendous. We couldn’t of asked for the to give any more, some of them came off and just wanted to collapse. It’s a credit to themselves and the team, that they make sure they work had for the team.”
Asking James about the difference in opponent in Sundays game, how did playing against a WSL side differ to opponents in our league?
“It’s how we expected them to be, their movement was very good. It’s the way we expected and why we set up as we did. Their good, they’re Arsenal at the end of the day, a top top side”
We asked Jack if the performance in the FA Cup tie would help the run in to the season finale;
“We need to made sure this desire and work rate is taken and bounced into every single game, right the way through till the end of May in the league and the cups we are in. We will want to keep the girls feet on the floor all the time. But also make sure they are happy and enjoying the football we are playing, working at it together. We’ve a tight run in to the end of the season, important games coming up in which our focus will switch to that.”
“I’m proud, for myself and for crouchy [James Marrs] and all the players. They have earned the right and deserve to be here at Arsenal, to win the Kent Cup final and be top of the Southern Premier League at the minute. So we have to make sure they keep applying themself in the right way and we would like to see this current commitment to the the end of the season where we hope to get one or two more trophies.”
The high profile of the game drew good support and media coverage, which the manager was pleased to see the club receive;
“I must say the support we have received has shown that we never realised how much we had, the amount of messages we have had in from people, my phones not stopped going and the amount of tweets we had and Facebook statuses, the support from Kent has meant we pulled in a big following to the game today. The girls hard work has done well to make it a joy to watch for the supporters, I’d like to thank everyone that has supported us all along this journey. Our media team have been top draw, we’ve been on radios, on TV, we all over twitter all the times. The coverage has been top draw, we are doing our best on the pitch with the back room staff and the media guys are doing their best off the pitch too. We are defiantly a club going in the right direction and hopefully that can continue on for the rest of the season and to lift some more silverware.”
What were the last words of James lips?
“Bring on Cardiff!”
Gillingham Ladies host Cardiff Ladies on Easter Sunday, in what could be a defining match of the FA Women’s Premier League South season. 1st vs 3rd, can Gills extend the gap at the top? Kick off at 2pm at Chatham Town. Support the girls, Adult admission £3 Under 16s Free. Don’t miss out!