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Quick progress delights Toner in Millmoor mauling

20 November 2023


Quick progress delights Toner in Millmoor mauling

20 November 2023

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Belles manager Ciaran Toner was delighted to see early work on the training ground come to fruition in his first game in charge.

While pleased with the ruthlessness showed by his side in the dominant 13-0 win at Millmoor Juniors Development in the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA Senior Cup, it was the impact of the structural changes made across just two training sessions that impressed Toner. 

“I was really pleased with how the girls applied themselves,” Toner said. “We’ve had a couple of training sessions so we weren’t naive with what we were coming into but for them to apply themselves with principles and concepts that we’ve brought in, I was just delighted with that.” 

“I thought every player played well and obviously the scorers will take the plaudits but I was really pleased with our structure in defence. 

“I look at Jess [Tugby-Andrew] - she really dominated at the back and controlled everything from there. 

“She got her goal so she’ll get credit for that but she was excellent all over the pitch. 

“In terms of our forward players, it was really nice to see them getting on the scoresheet – especially in our first game as a new group. 

“It was nice for them and it’ll give them confidence but I still think there’s a lot more to come from us. 

“It’s good to get such an emphatic win but the hard work really does continue now.” 

Lauren Breen scored, assisted and won her side a penalty in the opening 15 minutes before being forced off through injury – and Toner is hopeful the issue will not be of too much concern.  

Toner added: “We’ll assess Lauren and see how she is because she was really disappointed to have to come off. 

“For the penalty she won, she already had the ball in the back of the net so she’s disappointed with that but she had a really strong game while she was on the pitch. 

“She took her goal really well and was a constant threat for us but we had to protect her so now we’ll see how she is in the week.” 

Toner is looking for the Belles to carry the many positives from the performance into league action, as they resume their FAWNL Division One North campaign against Barnsley on December 3. 

“We have to carry this into the league now,” he added. "It’s always great to win and I was pleased with a lot of things on the day. 

“Inevitably, I’ll address little things in training that I thought we could’ve done a bit better but like I said to the girls in the training room, it’s about constantly being disciplined in our work. 

“We want to continue to progress and we’ve got tough league games to go into but it’s just important that we maintain our consistency. 

“There’s going to be a lot more that I want to bring in here so there is more to come but the girls just need to keep going. 

“That’s how you become consistently good throughout a season and we need to challenge ourselves to be able to see that.” 

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