Belles head coach Zoey Shaw says she can take plenty of positives from her side’s first pre-season friendly of 2019/20.
The Belles lost 2-1 away to last season’s FAWNL Division One Midlands champions West Bromwich Albion Women in a spirited performance in the West Midlands on Sunday, and Shaw felt the game can help her side to aim high this year.
“It’s only the first friendly for us, it’s all about building connections and relationships in the team and giving us a base to work from, but there’s plenty of positives to take from it so I’m very happy,” she said.
“There’ll be some sore bodies over the next couple of days, we’ve made signings but they’ve been unable to make it for this game which made it a tough test for us, there’s a lot of credit due for those that smashed a full 90 minutes in the first game.
“West Brom were a very technical side filled with a lot of quality, that’s why we choose these types of games, games against sides that will be a big test for us so we can aim higher and where we want to be.”
Sunday’s game against the Baggies saw four new signings involved for Shaw’s side, as well as 16-year-old Kazia Walby who completed 90 minutes up front after coming through the club’s RTC, and the head coach believes the blend of youth and experience can help her team this season.
“Kirsty Johnson in goal I thought had a brilliant game, she was very vocal from the back and her command style just flows throughout the team, then you have the experience of Chloe Starling and Tori Thomas, the new pairing at the back, that also dealt with things well,” she added.
“The group might be a little bit older than last year, but it’s all about the development from the RTC and bringing them through too, you’ve seen a 16-year-old in Kazia Walby play 90 minutes in her first ever open age game and did very well for herself.
“Last season we had a lot of youth in the squad, and take nothing away from them because they were brilliant, but we now have a lot of experienced heads that have come in, players that can read the game well and that understand it better.”
Belles season tickets are available to purchase now direct from the Club Doncaster Box Office, either by visiting in-store at the Keepmoat Stadium, calling on 01302 762576, or online at tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk.