Belles head coach Zoey Shaw said she couldn’t knock her side’s effort following their third pre-season friendly against London City Lionesses.
The Lionesses are the newest side in women’s football and will ply their trade in the FA Women’s Championship next term, and they quickly set about the Belles, racing into a 4-0 lead after half an hour.
However, Shaw’s side put up a united front and limited the newcomers to just one goal after the break, and the head coach believes that the Belles did themselves proud in the game that was hosted at St George’s Park.
“It was both a physical and a psychological test for us out there, the pitch was massive, which sometimes can do you a favour, but whilst the difference in quality perhaps showed, but I’m really proud of the girls because their effort was great,” she said.
“Nerves probably played a part in the first half-hour or so, playing at such a great venue like this, but once we got in and re-grouped at the break, I said to them that they’d have to go out there and put in a physical performance and they delivered.
“I hope they got a bit of enjoyment out of being here at St George’s Park, just being in and around it and seeing what it’s all about, it’s a great experience I can’t go on about it enough, but fitness and the lessons learnt are the most important things.”
Shaw’s side now face a trip across the Pennines to face North West Regional Women’s Football League side FC United of Manchester on Sunday, with another physical battle set to come the Belles way.
Shaw feels that her side’s experience from the friendly at St George’s Park with the Lionesses can stand them in good stead ahead of the weekend.
“We have another tough test coming our way on Sunday now, I’ve been in and around football in Manchester over the last few years and I know how tough FC United of Manchester can be to play against,” Shaw added.
“They’re such a physical outfit and we’ll have to build on what we learnt here in this game and utilise those battles at the weekend, we can play football, we can score goals, we can defend well, but we have to win physical battles.
“If you want resilience, we’re going to have it in abundance, especially after that, I’ve said it to the girls that the lessons that we’ve learnt here are massive, we’ve had a lot of travelling with two games in three days and they’ve done really well and we can take that all into Sunday.”
Belles season tickets are still available via the Club Doncaster Box Office for just £20! Purchase yours now by either visiting in-store at the Keepmoat Stadium, by calling on 01302 762576, or online at tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk.