Gillingham Ladies Manager Jack Wheeler was pleased to see his team progress to the next round of the FA WPL Plate after a 3-2 victory against Southampton Saints.
The Gills manager named nine Centre of Excellence graduates in his team which subsequently became the first topic of conversation post-match.
Wheeler said; “Before the game had already kicked off there was the huge win for us in the fact that our team contained nine Centre of Excellence girls. With the game developing at the rate it has, for a football club to have retained and supported that number of girls from youth into adult football in commendable.”
“I chucked the girls into the deep end, with the responsibility that I wanted nothing less than a good performance. For most of them, they’re still getting to grips and adjusting to the women’s game and I think that was reflected in how the game went. We produced a great opening half display, played well with confidence and I think we fully deserved the lead we took in at the break.”
“Once again however we allowed the opposition a way back into the game. Their first goal we could do nothing about, I clapped from the sideline because the quality of the strike was unbelievable and sometime’s you simply have to take your hat off to the opposition. The second goal, we invited the pressure, switched off for a moment and were punished. Perhaps we showed a bit of naivety in our second half display but I can’t fault the girls application this afternoon.”
Wheeler’s side have played the first of four consecutive cups games and the Gills manager was pleased to see his team continue their winning streak.
“The girls have worked hard to begin and continue this winning run we are on. We had to show maturity in the final 10/15 minutes today and if we can learn to control the tempo of games a bit better, I think our performances will continue to develop. The League is our priority but the players know we want to do well in every single competition this season. Today was a good start. Southampton to their credit fought back in the second half but I think we deserved our win and I’m pleased we have momentum going into our home game this Sunday.”
Gills Ladies now prepare to face AFC Wimbledon on Sunday 11th October in the FA Women’s Cup. The Gills will round off the FA’s Girls Football week with the tie and are encouraging youngsters to watch the team in action at Chatham Town FC. Wheeler included;
“The staff and players can’t wait to go back to Chatham Town on Sunday. We’ve only had two games there so far this season and both matches have been really enjoyable. The support we get gives us an extra edge which we will need because AFC Wimbledon are on a good winning run and they will pose us some serious questions.”
“The girls will be ready though and I’m looking forward to training this week in the build up to the FA Cup which is a great competition we really want to do well in”
Gillingham Ladies welcome AFC Wimbledon to Chatham Town FC this Sunday. KO 2pm. Tickets £3 Adults, U16s Free.