Ladies have edge on reigning champs
IPSWICH Ladies open their National League programme tomorrow by facing defending Premier Division champions Leicester at Tuddenham Road. However, the home side will definitely feel they have the mental edge over the midlanders, having beaten Leicester in the Premiership tournament at Milton Keynes back in May.
By Martin White
IPSWICH Ladies open their National League programme tomorrow by facing defending Premier Division champions Leicester at Tuddenham Road.
However, the home side will definitely feel they have the mental edge over the midlanders, having beaten Leicester in the Premiership tournament at Milton Keynes back in May.
Coach Sandie Lister has used pre-season matches against Ipswich men and IES men to allow new signings Tanya Barnyard (ex-Loughborough Students) and Liane Shadrack (ex-Cambridge City) to settle in to the new team formation.
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Impressive performances from Karla Waddleton and Jo Gray has promoted them from the second team and has enabled Lister to strengthen the squad after the retirement of Tracy Fry and an injury to defender Lorraine Catchpole, but the club welcomes back dynamic forward Sarah Bamfield who has returned after a year with Woking.
Leicester have an experienced squad with a number of current internationals and Lister feels it is important to take the game to them.
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"We have a tremendous amount of attacking flair and we aim to hit Leicester early and not let them settle," she said.
For Ipswich captain, Leisa King, it will be a perfect opportunity to use her speed and dexterity against her England team-mates.
After a 3-0 walkover last week, Ipswich seconds are looking forward to getting back into action against Ashford.
Although without sweeper Waddleton and striker Gray, they welcome England U-18 international JoJo Anderson into the squad and they have no doubt that she will prove to be a vital player.
Ipswich will be looking to continue their undefeated run in the Printwize East Super League Premier Division with the experience of Hayley Spooner leading the defence and the speed of Lucy Philp to inspire the attack.
However, they are well aware that Ashford will be no pushovers and with new players and a long trip to Kent, Ipswich will need to keep their concentration to the final whistle to ensure another three points.