Tomorrow, Guiseley Vixens return to league action when they travel to Fylde Ladies.
The break from league action saw Fylde lose on penalties to Bradford City Ladies and the Vixens beat Solihull 2-1 in extra time.
It will be the first time the two clubs have played each other after Guiseley’s promotion from the Northern Division One earlier this year.
We sat down with manager Glen Preston to see how he’s feeling going into tomorrow’s game.
So Glen, you’re coming into the game off of the back of a good cup win and for the first time this season you’re taking what is close to a full squad. Surely you’ve got to be feeling happy about that?
“Yeah it was a hard fought win we got with a mixed squad versus a side we expect to be challenging to become a premier league side this year. Solihull had Super League experience up top and they were a real handful so it was definitely a morale boosting victory, more so for the manner in which we played where we showed signs of looking like our old selves again. Our stats reflected that with us having 73% possession and creating a lot of good quality chances.
“In terms of squad, It’s a stronger squad we take to Fylde but I wouldn’t say we are at full strength yet. Players are nursing themselves back to full fitness every week and that’s what we need but we are still without the likes of Nikki Berko, Natalie Brace, Charlie Blythe, Cam Clarke, Hannah Hale, Liv DaCosta and Emma Rankin so although we are in a healthier position having the likes of Chan O’Hara, Lauren Griffiths, Ellie Hall, Danica Roberts and Fiona Worts who are all top class players we are still missing a fair few key players.”
Fylde are one of this season’s favourites. They won their first game but recently lost to Bradford in the FAWPL Cup. Is this a good time to be playing them?
“I don’t think the cup result matters too much other than perhaps they will be out to get a reaction so they could be even more fired up. Many sides just like ourselves rotate squads for cup games and give up and coming talent game time to reward efforts in training and such, so it hard to ever read too much into the result and see if it’s a good time to be playing them.
“For me, Fylde are incredible side with plenty of Super League experience in the ranks and we know that we will have to produce a performance of the highest quality if we are to get points on the board this weekend.”
Regarding the squad, we saw a couple of youth players make an impact within the team. Will we be seeing them this weekend?
“Many of our youngsters have gained a great deal of experience over the last 9-10 weeks within in the first team. When you have so many players absent it does open doors for youngsters to show what they can bring to the team and a couple have really seized the moment and shown that even at 16 years of age they can play at this level and so they will be named in the squad again this week and if we feel it’s right for the strategy then we are not afraid to throw them into games even of this magnitude. We really do have a lot of faith in a lot of the talented players we have at this club.
We will also see Lauren Griffiths, Chantelle O’Hara and Fiona Worts travel with the squad for the first time this season after returning. How excited are you to see them play in a Guiseley kit?
“Fiona is one of our top summer signings and I think we are all excited to see her finally make her debut. She’s played at international level with England at youth level, she has a brilliant scoring record for Leicester scoring more than a goal a game and in the one pre-season game she played for us this year she’s already showed her class.
“She’s a different type of player to anything else we have. She has such quick feet and the ball sticks to her like glue so we know we have a real asset on our hands. The only thing we need is to assess what load she can handle at this moment and manage her carefully into the side but it shouldn’t take long given she’s just come back from playing a full season in Australia.
“As for having Lauren and Chan back this is fantastic news for us. These two are arguably the heartbeat of the team and for me they should be playing at Super League level as they just exude class in every area of the game.
“We have missed Griff’s work rate, ability to break up play and her intelligence, and Chan’s composure, quality on the ball and ability to play through the lines almost at will, her and Griff have an amazing partnership and understanding which allows the team to play in a different way.
“We’ve missed them both so much in the first two games of the season, so we hope they can help inspire the team to put some points on the board this weekend because when they are on top form there are few better players at this level.”
Match updates can be found on Twitter, with kick-off being scheduled for 2PM.