Guiseley Vixens take a short break from league duties this Sunday when they travel to Solihull Ladies to take them on in the FAWPL Cup.
The game will be played at the Tally Ho Sports and Social Club and will be the first time the two sides have met.
We caught up with assistant manager Ashley Thompson to get his thoughts on the season so far and what he expects the fixture to hold.
You’ve had a rocky start to the season so far. Why do you think this is?
“With so many first team players unavailable, we were expecting a tough start to the season and that’s exactly what we have got.
“I think we were unlucky at Forest and were poor at Huddersfield. Travelling to Solihull in the cup comes at a good time for us and everyone has a point to prove after last week.
“We’re hoping to welcome back three or four players into the fold and as it’s an opponent we know very little about, all of our focus is on what we do best and that’s play attractive football.”
This will be your first cup competition this season, how are you approaching it?
“The FAWPL Cup always throws up upsets in the early rounds and our opponents will be motivated to cause one.
“There’s been great intensity in training this week and the players have shown that they’re more than up for this one. Cup runs can generate great momentum and really kick-start a season, and that’s exactly what we’re looking for with this game.”
The Development team open their campaign with a tough-tie against last year’s title challengers Huddersfield Town.
On the eve of the start of the FAWPL Reserve Northern Division, we also caught up with new-in-post Development Team Manager Jordan Hartley and the newly announced captain Sophie Hoyle to get their thoughts on pre-season.
Having joined the club three months ago and seeing the First Team start their season in the last few weeks, are you and the players must be chomping at the bit to start the new season?
“Absolutely! We’ve been preparing ourselves for this first game and having watched the first team kick off their campaign, we can’t wait to get started.”
How has pre-season gone and what are you looking for from your players this season?
“Pre-season has brought a collectiveness to the group, and we’ve improved week by week in both performances and results. The effort and work rate has been unbelievable. If we can continue to commit to playing in the right way, the results will reflect that.”
You’ve just announced Sophie Hoyle as the captain of the Development Team. Why have you chosen her?
“She’s a natural leader, a good organiser and leads by example. She had a fantastic attitude on and off the pitch and a great role model for the whole squad.”
Sophie, how does it feel to be named captain of the Guiseley Vixens Development Team?
“I am delighted and it’s such a privilege to be named as captain of such a great club! I’m hoping this can further develop our ambitions for the future and I’m excited to see what this season has to offer.”
What do you think of the squad and what are your expectations for the season?
“The squad is well motivated, and we all work so well as a team. Through this, I am very excited for this season and we just want to put as many good performances in as we can throughout the season and try to finish as high as possible.”
The development team fixture will be played at the Stafflex Arena Complex at Storthes Hall.
Updates will be given as always on the Guiseley Vixens Twitter page.
Words: Oliver Coultas