After two disappointing losses, Willie Kirk reflects on the season so far and offers his thoughts moving forward:
Taking time to reflect on the season so far as we enter the mid-season break, it has probably been everything that I expected it to be. When we came together as a new group of players in January, following relegation, we were a squad of 22, thirteen of which were new additions. We were playing under a new name, in a new league, training full-time during the day instead of part-time in the evenings and we had an average age of 21!
A number of challenges were ahead of us. We have faced each one head-on, overcoming many, and learning from the others. We have had good and bad performances, some great results and some disappointing. What all of that means, is that when the squad reassembles on the 6th of June, we will already know each other very well and we will have accumulated a lot of experience as a group. That will allow us to move on to the next level of the project and a whole new set of challenges will be forthcoming.
One of our objectives at the start of the year was to get promotion back to WSL1, and although we are a few points off the target that we set ourselves, I have every confidence that we will achieve that objective. The break has come at a good time for the players, and the staff, and everyone will return reinvigorated, ready for a promotion push.
It may be that we use the break to freshen the squad ever so slightly, and add one or two to the group, which mean mean that there will be one or two departures as well.
Injuries have proved a test for us over the last few weeks, and losing Corinne to a long term injury is without a doubt a big blow for us. She will definitely be able to add value in other areas though, and having her working more closely with the technical staff on and off the park will help her own personal development as well as the rest of the players.
The second half of the season sees more consistency with the fixture list and I am certain that will benefit us, especially in the first two months. It is going to be important that we start strongly, as everyone has seen just how competitive the league is. I predict that 4 or 5 clubs will be battling it out for the top two spots until late on in the season. We intend to be one of them!”
Come and cheer on the Vixens in their quest to promotion at Stoke Gifford Stadium on Saturday 25th June where they take on Oxford United Women, see our ‘Tickets’ page for more information