Michelle Stewart believes that Lynn Ladies can improve on last season’s exploits ahead of their opening fixture at Haverhill Ladies in the women’s FA Cup today ( Sunday 2pm). Lynn suffered defeat in the women’s county cup final at Carrow Road and just missed out in the league but in Stewart’s opinion things are looking good ahead of the opening day.
‘ I feel that last season we exceeded our expectations to be fair ‘ said the Linnets boss. ‘ From February onwards we picked up our game , became maybe a little more focused , and the results followed. Joe Simpson returned to the coaching team which also made a difference. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Carrow Road, apart from the result , and it left the girls wanting to experience those kind of days even more going forward’.
With the England Lionesses enjoying a wave of publicity during the summers World Cup Stewart confirmed an influx of new players reporting for pre season training which has swelled the squad significantly. ‘ There is no doubt that the World Cup has increased the interest in our game ‘ continued Stewart. ‘ It really has been very pleasing to see and oversee and we now have a squad of 24 girls ready to take part over the season. The training has gone well as have the pre season games. We have been trying some new formations and tactics in the games and looking at individual performances. Of course it’s not about results but we have had some good ones and winning does breed confidence. We have had girls away on holidays which happens but we now have most of them back ready for the serious stuff’.
Lynn were not involved in the Women’s FA Cup last season but the return to the competition has also been a boost to the team revealed Stewart. ‘ It’s an established national competition and a chance for the team to show what they can do against sides we normally wouldn’t play. Haverhill will be a very difficult game for us. They are a very good outfit and have beaten Sudbury pre season so we know it will be tough. We have a couple away but if we are on our game we will be in with a very good chance. Our aim for the season is to go one better than we did last season really. We seemed to be runner’s up all the time and now we want to be top of the pile instead of nearly being there. The league has been reorganised and looks very competitive but we have less travelling so that will be a bonus and we are confident and hopeful for the season ahead.