Step Up in Quality

ARGYLE Ladies play their most difficult pre-season game on Sunday when they entertain Super League outfit Bristol City at the club’s new base of the Manadon Sports Hub and a good sized crowd is expected for a 2pm kick off.

Bristol do not start their season until September 8, when they receive Brighton in their opening Barclays Super League Game. It is unclear what sort of team Bristol will put out, as they have only just recently returned to training but possible inclusions in the line-up could be summer signings Charlie Wellings, Meaghan Sargeant, Jas Matthews, Yana Daniëls and Vita van der Linden.

Cornish defender Matthews returns to the club after leaving Liverpool. Ebony Salmon and Ella Rutherford will return to training soon after competing at the Under-19 European Championships, while Poppy Pattinson begins rehabilitation on a foot injury. Also expected in the squad should be goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley, whose superb season between the sticks saw her voted PFA Player of the Year by the fans. City will also expect to blood some of their quality youngsters.

Argyle manager Dave Leonard has selected a squad of 13, with recent signing Becky Kyle returning to the club in goal. Argyle will be missing Leah Burridge and Jessica Jones, who are away on holiday while Becky Dandridge, Ebony Dover and Kayley Lane return after missing the 8-0 win at Bishops Lydeard.

Leonard said: “It is frustrating having people away but it is what it is. I decided not to include Zoe Cunningham as she is still a week away from full fitness.” Leonard has also shown faith in 16 year-old Beth Everson, who has impressed in pre-season games to date.

“We have had a good week, what with the Bishops Lydeard game and training has gone well,” added Leonard. “It will be a Bristol City eleven, I think they will have a splattering of senior players. It will also be nice to show case Manadon, I am proud to take the team there this season and this is now our home. I want to make it a fortress, so it will be nice to introduce the girls to it this week.”