Brighton & Hove Albion defender Sophie Perry challenged her team-mates to make home advantage count in the FA Women’s Super League 2 this season, starting with Sunday’s game against Durham at Culver Road, kick-off 12pm.
The Seagulls opened their account with three points on the road against Aston Villa last Sunday, and with Hope Powell’s team returning to the south coast this weekend, Perry understands the importance of winning on home soil.
She said, “We’re used to being there now and hopefully it can be a fortress for us. When teams come down, we want to make it so they don’t want to come down and play us.
“It’s a lovely pitch and we play the football that we like to play on it. There’s no bumps and it’s 4G, so we get our passes off really well.
“Hopefully we can get a crowd down. I’ve seen that quite a few people have bought the season tickets, so hopefully it will be a place where people want to come along, watch us and support.
” Ini Umotong’s cool finish sealed victory in Albion’s season opener, and the Republic of Ireland international believes the team have been boosted by their positive start to the campaign.
“Going into the game, we’re all very confident from the Aston Villa match. Starting the season off with three points is really important and hopefully we can get another three on Sunday.
“Durham haven't really brought anyone in, they’ve kept the same squad, so they’ll have quite a bit of consistency and will be used to each other.
“Looking at all of the teams, I think the league is anybodies. We go into every game with the same mentality, whether it’s Durham, Aston Villa or Tottenham.”
Albion had a busy summer of recruitment leading into their debut season in the FA WSL2, and Perry believes there is a healthy balance within the squad for the challenging season ahead.
“It’s very refreshing and healthy to have new players come in. We’ve had a nice mix of players join the club, experienced players and ones that have been here before.
“The squad is really shaping up and for the players that have come in, it feels like they’ve been here for a long time.
“If you look at our squad, there’s a range of personalities. We’ve got extrovert people and introvert, some players that are a little more quiet than others - it’s good to have a mix of personalities.
“On the coach on the way back, you can sit with a group and have a little sing-song, then go and sit with another group and have a serious conversation. That’s really key in a squad.”
Albion host Durham at the Sussex County FA Headquarters at Culver Road this Sunday, kick-off 12 noon.
Advanced tickets for the game are priced at £8 for adults and £4 for 65+/under-16s. Tickets can be purchased in advance at seagullstickets.com.
Prices on the day at Culver Road are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for 65+/under-16s. We are also producing a matchday magazine for this game, priced at £2.