Mel Reay has given an update on where her squad are at as SAFC Ladies continue to train and assess their progress over the international break.
The Lasses return to action this Sunday in the Continental Cup against Aston Villa at Eppleton (12pm), having gone down 3-1 to league leaders Liverpool in the Championship last time out, and now seen four players head away with their national teams.
“I think it’s always important to get straight back into training,” Reay said.
“We always analyse each game in detail and that first session back after a game is always vital – to have discussions, players to talk to other players, and coaches to deliver messages to players.
“Once it’s all discussed, then we can get out fully focused on the training pitch again. It’s always good to keep that focus on improving.”
The Ladies Head Coach touched on the Liverpool game and credited the Reds for their structure as they seek a return to WSL level, before making an assessment of the Lasses’ campaign so far, three months in.
“Liverpool are a great team – a full-time side who are certainly the toughest opponent we’ve faced in the league this season. They have everything in place to get promoted back to the WSL.
“We’ve split the season into blocks. International breaks don’t give us that reflection opportunity anymore so than usual, as players are often away, so we’re just always looking to analyse and then move forward.
“We can’t forget that we’ve picked up some big points and big results, and it’s important that we continue to learn. It’s a mixed bag coming up with three cup games and a league game which we undoubtedly see as most important, but it’s also a good chance to utilise the squad and look at where we can build and improve.”
Over the past few days, Maria Farrugia has again gone away with the senior Malta side, with Jessica Brown, Neve Herron and Libbi McInnes on duty with the England youth setup.
“These girls have been selected based on their performances for this football club, so they need to continue to work hard to earn those international caps,” explained Reay.
“It’s great for them to get the experience – Libbi played 75 minutes for England Under-18s against Norway and played really well. Maria has had two international fixtures with Malta, and then Neve and Jess at St. George’s Park on a four-day training camp.
“It’s a great environment for them to learn in, and they can return hungry to keep playing well with us.”