‘We want to enjoy our football’, says Nicholl

WOMEN’s manager Alison Nicholl is looking forward to the start of the new NIWFA Division One campaign which gets underway tomorrow night…

After their opening game against Crewe United was postponed last week, Nicholl’s side get their season off and running against Larne Olympic at The Showgrounds (KO 7:30pm).

After a difficult campaign in the Championship division last year – which featured Larne and Ballymena United who were promoted to the top flight – the Bannsiders are hoping to be more competitive this time around.

“Division One will definitely give us a better opportunity to compete,” Nicholl said.

“The standard of women’s football is improving all the time which is great to see.

“The girls will hopefully enjoy it more this season.

“Our expectations are to go and compete strongly and enjoy our football.

“We are hoping to do well but we are also expecting good competition based on the teams who are in our league.

“There will be no easy games and we will take it each week as it comes.”

Nicholl has remarked on the pre-season preparations to date and confirmed several Youths have been promoted to her first-team squad.

“The preparations have been good and we have been training since the start of January, as well as playing five-a-sides,” she continued.

“We played Ballyclare Reserves in a friendly which was a very competitive game and finished 2-2. It was a really good test for the girls against a good, young footballing side.

“We also played Ballymena Reserves and Maiden City which were also close.

“We have also added new players which has bolstered the squad such as Ellie McIlmoyle who is a very athletic Gaelic player. She has been a great addition, playing wide and creating a lot of opportunities in the final third.

“Furthermore, Ellie McGarry is a striker who has been promoted from the Youths and will be in the squad when she’s available as she’s studying for her GCSE’s. However, she is one who can put the ball in the back of the net and is an exciting forward.

“Caitlin Talbot is also back from injury and brings experience as she can hold the ball up well and link play.

“Eden Hanna and Yana Walls have also been promoted from the Youths and will play when available due to exams.

“Having fit players will obviously give us more options as a squad.

“We are always looking new players to strengthen the squad and will continue to do so.”

Coleraine FC Women will be playing in NIWFA Division One with their home fixtures being played at The Showgrounds on Wednesday evening (see fixtures below). Be sure to come along and cheer on the Bannsiders this season.

If interested in joining our Women’s team, please contact manager Alison Nicholl (07810 051533).