The new FA Women’s Premier League season kicks off this weekend, in the build up to the first game at Tottenham we caught up with Gills Ladies forward Lauren Phillips. Asking how she thought pre season has gone under the new Gillingham men’s link and looking ahead to getting the season underway.
This summer has seen Gillingham Ladies pre-season run by Gillingham men’s, we asked Lauren how it had been with the team now under the men’s club umbrella?
“Training under the men’s regime has been as expected over the summer, with us stepping up the intensity in the last week, building up to the new season. It’s great to have the use of the men’s facilities and have a base of where we can call home. To have the use of the facilities at the ground is something that none of us have had before, so we are looking forward to taking advantage!”
“The summer has probably seen the biggest change in the clubs entirety, with a complete overhaul in staff with the majority of the first team squad following. Being one of now just four remaining first team squad players it has been a difficult transition but one only to be expected. It’s taken time for things to settle down, but now with Simon working with us and new players coming into the club we have a way to go. But now have a foundation of which to build upon going forwards.”
Gills faced Milton Keynes and Millwall Lionesses in their pre-season games and came away with a win, with Lauren netting one of the two goals at Milton Keynes. Whilst the team put in a good show despite defeat at home against WSL2 side Millwall.
“Pre season has been a test in more ways than one. With new players coming in and some players playing out of position, a bit like like “square pegs and round holes” it’s taken time to adapt and we will continue to do so into the season. For the first game at MK we had passages of play where we created opportunities we should of taken. But persistence prevailed and we grabbed the 2 goals we deserved through the pressure we created in other areas of the game.”
“The Millwall game was a tough test from a side that we knew were going to be difficult to hold let alone beat and I think we were all a little daunted by the prospect. I think we took ourselves by surprise and were unfortunate to go in at half time after just conceding! In the second half we grabbed a goal back and defensively did well being unfortunate to concede. I do think we deserved a draw out the game but overall a good performance to be proud off against a testing opposition.”
The season gets underway away at Tottenham this weekend, before the first home game against Ebbsfleet a week later. We asked Lauren how excited the squad was to getting back to business and playing the first fixture at Priestfield?
“I think everyone always looks forward to the first game of the season. It’s going to be a tough game for us but one hopefully where we will perform well into the following week at Priestfield. Hopefully we can make it somewhere we really can call home, make it difficult to beat us and put in some good performances.”
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us this season and beyond which I think all of the team are ready for. Hopefully the fans appreciate the transition, are patient and get behind us this season #roaruson”