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Club News

POWELL: THE HARD WORK STARTS NOW

21 May 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Hope Powell

Brighton & Hove Albion women’s first-team manager Hope Powell praised the progress made by her side this season, but explained the hard work begins now in preparation for the club’s first-ever FA WSL 1 campaign.
 
Despite a 3-0 defeat to Millwall Lionesses on the final day of the season, Albion secured a second-place finish in FA WSL 2 ahead of making the step up to full-time professional football in FA WSL 1 in 2018/19.
 
She said, “It’s going to be tough and everything we’ve tried to do in the time that I’ve been here, is about looking forward to next season.
 
“The beauty is that we knew we were going to be in WSL 1, so in some respects, it took the pressure off.
 
“That being said, the girls were desperate to prove that they were good enough to be in WSL 1, and coming second in the league is testament to their character.
 
“But the real work begins now because the jump is an ocean. During the course of pre-season we are going to have to work hard, but we are all looking forward to it.”
 
Powell highlighted the step-up in quality that will be required in FA WSL 1 and the differences which the club will need to bridge in the coming years.
 
“The teams in WSL 1 have been full-time for a while. There is a divide between the best in WSL 1 and the rest [of the division].
 
“The teams at the top have all been full-time for a number of years, and the pace of the game is a lot quicker, as is their power and strength.
 
“That showed when we played against Chelsea and Manchester City, but we are working towards that.
 
“These are exciting times for the club and we want to try and compete in the best way possible.”
 
The Albion boss also explained the delicate balancing act of recruiting players ahead of next season and stressed that it’s vital that any new signings buy into the ethos of the club.

“We have to be careful and sensible in our judgement regarding the players that we want to bring in.

“The squad capacity for WSL 1 is 23 players, so we have got room to bring some in, but we want the right type of players. We want them to fulfill the culture and values of Brighton, which is really important.

“The girls that are already here have gelled quite nicely, and we want that to continue. If they’re happy, we’ll get more out of them.”


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