Brighton & Hove Albion women’s manager James Marrs is urging his side to be on their guard when Forest Green Rovers visit the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre on Sunday, kick-off 2pm.
Albion take on a newly-promoted side in their opening match of the season and Marrs says the visitors will be eager to prove themselves at a higher level.
He said, “Forest Green have been promoted from the league below and they will be flying, so we will be seen as a bit of a scalp in the opening game.
“It’s a tough start. People will maybe view it differently but we are under no illusions as to what sort of performance we will need to put in.
“It’s always important to get off to a good start as that sets you up for the rest of the season.”
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Despite being the third-highest scorers in the division last season with an impressive 63 goals from their 21 league games, the Albion manager wants his team to be much more clinical in the upcoming campaign.
“We had a very good season, but we weren’t happy with the number of goals we scored.
“We feel we could have put away a few more chances to get the points we needed to win the league.
“That was a bit frustrating at times and it’s something that we definitely need to address going into the new season.”
Albion bolstered their squad over the summer with the arrivals of midfielders Charlotte Young and Kate Natkiel, striker Kim Stenning and goalkeeper Charlotte Sole. Marrs believes the strengthening of the goalkeeping position in particular was crucial if the side are to make the step-up into the Women’s Super League.
“We already have Faye Baker and Molly Towers, who is making good progress with the development squad.
“With the arrival of Charlotte, we now have three goalkeepers fighting for two positions, but we need to nurse her back from a shoulder injury first as she has been out for some time.
“The signings of Kate and Kim are also good additions to the squad and will hopefully have a big impact this season.”
There is free entry to Sunday’s game, but supporters should note that capacity at the training ground is limited and those wishing to attend must e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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