The Vixens continue their pre-season campaign this Sunday when they welcome newly rebranded Leeds United Ladies to Fleet Lane.
Northern Division One Champions, Guiseley, host their inter-city rivals Leeds United Ladies in their third pre-season friendly of the season.
Having met three times last season, the Vixens were unbeaten in all meetings, including a comprehensive 5-1 win away in the league and knocking their opponents out of the West Riding County Cup at the Quarter-Final stage.
We spoke to assistant manager Ashley Thompson to get his thoughts on the game.
“You’re well into pre-season now and come up against a rebranded Leeds Ladies side. Are you expecting anything different from them this time around compared to what you saw last season?”
Thompson said: “I’d expect a different approach from both teams to be honest. With it being pre-season, the pressure to get results is off.
“In the games last year, Leeds tried hard to counter what we were doing with varying degrees of success but in Sunday’s game, I’d expect both teams to be working on engraining their identities, rather than going to win at all costs.
“There has been a lot of change to both sides over the summer. We saw Leeds lose heavily to Huddersfield a few weeks ago but I’d expect them to improve massively in that time.”
“We’ve seen you experiment with one or two youngsters in the squad in previous pre-season games, will this be something you implement in this game?”
“The young players that have joined the club since last season have really impressed everyone and their first team opportunities reflect that. Our development team also have a game on Sunday afternoon, so the majority of the youngsters will be involved there but there will be a number of them with the first team squad and I can’t wait to see them in action!”
“Finally, it’s your local rivals but this will probably be the only time you face them this season as you got promoted. With that being said will you go into the game treating it as more than just a friendly?”
“Derbies are games that players and supporters look forward to more than any others. Hopefully, we’ll get an opportunity to further our unbeaten record against Leeds in competitive fixtures through the County or League cups. We go into all friendlies with clear goals and targets and whilst winning isn’t at the forefront of these, we’ll definitely be taking the game seriously.
“In terms of the region, I think that it’s massively important for the city of Leeds to have a strong and thriving women’s team and we are certainly flying that flag at the minute.”
Words: Oliver Coultas, Photo: Alex Daniel