Fylde Women waste no time in preparing for their FA Cup clash with Burnley
Fylde Women joint-manager Kim Turner says her team’s first week of training this year has gone “brilliantly” as they prepare for an in-at-the-deep-end return to action in the Women’s FA Cup.
Turner’s side last played in mid-December, overwhelming Sheffield 8-1, and weren’t even allowed to train for the next three months because of lockdown.
But they are straight back into action this Sunday with a second-round tie away to Burnley at Padiham (2pm).
They wasted no time resuming training as soon as the restrictions eased on Monday and Turner, who co-manages the side with player/boss Danielle Young, says the week could hardly have gone better.
She told The Gazette: “It’s been brilliant. We had full squad and the girls are absolutely buzzing.
“They have came back in great shape, which was pleasantly surprising, though we knew they had been putting the work in after we gave them all training programmes.
“The tempo in training has been really high and the quality really good. They are a bit rusty but you’d have to expect that.
“We would normally train on Tuesdays and Thursdays but we’ve done a Monday session as well this week to maximise the time available.
“We’ve been up at Mill Farm and it’s been great getting some work into the players’ legs on the grass.”
Defeat on Sunday would mean the season is over, the FA having confirmed last month that women’s leagues below the second tier would not be resuming this season.
Fylde were riding high in tier three, the FA Women’s National Northern Premier, having won six of their eight games before Christmas.
Second-placed Fylde were six positions above Sunday’s hosts Burnley, who they defeated 2-1 at the same Padiham ground back in September.
Fylde’s 16-week break between games seems short compared to the Clarets’, who last kicked a ball competitively on November 1, when they defeated Derby 3-1.
It means Turner can be quietly confident but certainly isn’t taking anything for granted, adding: “We feel we have approached it the right way and so far we are optimistic.
“I remember when we played them in the league, they equalised but we didn’t let our heads drop.
“We changed tactics and they never got out of their half in the second half. Faye McCoy scored a fantastic winner.
“We are confident but you don’t know how either side will be on the day after so long.
“It’s all about mindset and the team which wants it most and makes the fewest mistakes will win.
“All we can do is prepare the players as coaches and managers and make sure they are all on the same page, but come Sunday it’s over to them.
“We are confident we’ll have the mindset right, though. The players have already taken a lot of responsibility this season and loads of ownership, so we have faith in them.”
The third and fourth rounds are scheduled for the following two Sundays. A win for Fylde would secure a home tie against Sunderland – the only team to beat them in the league this season – or Sheffield, with a possible meeting with Manchester United beyond that.
Turner added: “We realise that this weekend could be the last game of the season but hopefully there will be at least one more.
“If we’re in round three we’ll be back at Kellamergh Park and will give that game our full focus.
“If we did get through to play Manchester United of course we’d be realistic about our chances. If we beat them I would probably go missing for a week but we won’t look that far ahead.”
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