BIRMINGHAM City Ladies have been knocked out of the Continental Cup but still remain top of Women’s Super League One after five games. On Wednesday night Blues Ladies played Bristol Academy – one of nine league games left to play – and their excellent season so far has meant 11 players have been called up to represent England at various levels. In her latest column skipper Karen Carney talks about the season so far and the pluses and negatives of having such a strong squad.
“IN THE Continental Cup you can’t afford to drop a single point and you have to finish top (to be certain of qualifying). We lost 2-0 against Notts County 2-0 (on July 6) and let in soft goals from a professional point of view so the coaches knew we were out of the cup, so in the Bristol game it was difficult to motivate ourselves. We had to play them back-to-back and the coaches decided to change the team around.
We can only apologise for the performance and result (a 5-0 loss). When we put the shirt on we are very proud of that and, even if we rested players with the league game in mind, this is not the result we wanted.
It’s really disappointing to lose in that manner. We took our eye off the prize. What we need to do now is build from this and become better players.”
“IN THE league we have had a good start – unbeaten in five games – and have had a good season so far going back to the Champions League. However, we have made two massive mistakes against Arsenal in the FA Cup (losing 2-1) and Notts County in the Continental.
We have a certain structure and pattern to our game and we train very hard at keeping this.
As the season goes on teams begin to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and we have to work on this and make sure we’re constantly improving and evolving to keep the lead.
We have a lot of potential in this squad but what we don’t want to happen at the end of the season is for us to be saying ‘well we’ve got the potential’, we want to be celebrating winning the league.”
“WE have five players in the U20s World Cup in Canada and three in the U19s European Championships. We are very lucky as a club to have this, it’s amazing for the club.
Both teams are in the finals – what an experience for them. Blues are top of the league and our players are being recognised for that by their country.
The competitions take place in a couple of weeks but it does, however, leave us struggling, so we have to see about the fixture schedule.
For the senior England squad myself, Jade Moore and Jo Potter have been named in the initial 30-player squad list for the friendly against Sweden at Hartlepool on August 2.
I would love to have more of our team in the England squad and I’m sure over the months and years this will happen.
What we have here is a club that gives the players the best chance to reach their potential and play for their country.
That is why as an Ambassador for Solihull Moors I am trying to get as many girls and boys interested in football as possible. At the recent girls’ trials the numbers were incredible. The coaches there are amazing and they helped me with my career.”