Belles head coach Zoey Shaw feels the Belles are in a much stronger position than 12 months ago as they head into the 2019/20 season on Sunday.
Shaw had just a couple weeks to get a squad together this time last year, but after a summer of stability and the integration of the Belles into the Club Doncaster family, she believes that a solid grounding has been the key for her side over the past few weeks.
“I keep touching on it, but we had three weeks to prepare for the season this time last year, this time round we’ve got a far better structure in place, we’ve had a good seven or eight weeks with the squad and that’s been key,” she said.
“Your pre-season is so important to get those relationships and bonds in place ready for the season beginning properly, we’ve worked hard to get our style of play implemented, we’re in such a great position now and everyone is so positive.
“We’ve worked on quite a lot of stuff over the past couple of weeks or so, we’re really starting to nail down individual things where the girls can improve, we’re looking to just build the confidence in the camp ready for Sunday.”
Shaw’s side have played five pre-season fixtures as they’ve geared up towards this Sunday’s FAWNL Division One Midlands opener against Leafield Athletic, and the head coach is starting to see strong bonds beginning to emerge within the tight-knit group.
“You can really start to see those relationships forming now, which is great when you consider a lot of them didn’t really know each other two months ago, you’d look at them all now and think they were all here last year,” Shaw added.
“It’s nice to see those bonds forming within the group now, they’re putting in a lot of trust in each other to work hard and they’re all very open, they want to drive each other on, whether that be in training or in games.
“We’ve touched on a few things about if mistakes are made in games, then they should expect to be told by a few of the players around them, but at the end of the day, what happens on the pitch stays there, and you carry on afterwards, and that is great for us.”
Belles season tickets are still available for just £20 via the Club Doncaster Box Office - with a free DNA Card and Powercore band included in the price! Head to tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk and #BackTheBelles this year.