Ladies in Wales
ARGYLE Ladies are on the road again on Sunday when, instead of travelling to Portsmouth, they are at Cardiff City, as Pompey are involved in a National League cup tie.
The Pilgrims narrowly lost 3-2 on both occasions last season against the Welsh team, so will have to be on top form to get a result.
Argyle are themselves in excellent form, having won their last six games with a goal difference of 33 to four, but this is a more difficult challenge against a team bristling with Welsh internationals.
The change of opponent has not concerned manager Dave Leonard, who said: “Having had the Portsmouth game cancelled, I am more than delighted to be playing Cardiff. We know it’s going to be a tough game, so I am really looking forward to it.
“This season has to be the most competitive season that I have seen and we are playing our part in that. In fact, it could come down to just two or three teams who could do it and if someone gets on a run, who knows.
“We have a full squad to select from, so it’s going to be a bit of a headache for me. Greece under-20 international Panagiota Papaioannou is still a couple of weeks away from contention but, apart from that, we go away with a fully fit squad.
“We go their confident in the way we have played in the last five weeks. We had a mega training session this week, not one of them moaned, they all worked hard - that to me empathises what these girls are all about, they are just relentless in their training.
“Not playing last Sunday, they knew they were going to have a tough one this week. Their effort was relentless right through the session. It is just a different level to what it was last year but nobody is going to win anything in October, we just keep going to earn the three points.”
Leonard started with new recruits Bow Jackson and Lydia Huntley at the heart of the defence in their win at Buckland Athletic last time out, so it will be interesting to see if captain Kate Middleton and Mollie Taylor reclaim their places in the starting line-up.
Argyle squad: Becky Kyle, Leah Burridge, Ebony Dover, Bow Jackson, Lydia Huntley, Faye Ivall, Jessica Jones, Amber Pollock, Kayley Lane, Becky Dandridge, Steph Beck, Zoe Cunningham, Natasha Knapman, Helen Bleazard, Kate Middleton, Mollie Taylor.
It is all to play for the Development team as they travel to unbeaten league leaders Feniton knowing that a defeat will surely end their title challenge. Feniton have won their four matches to date, while the Argyle youngsters have won their last three matches in style, after losing the opening three.
There will be a few changes to the squad, as Scarlett Williams and Isla Brumhead are unavailable and there are a few players carrying niggly injuries. Back into squad come Rachel Heron and Rachel Javan.
They travel to the game in a very confident mood after three successive victories but knowing there is still a lot more to work on performance wise. Manager Rob Bonney commented: “It may seem that we are being hard on the girls but, despite the results recently, we know there is so much more that they can work on as a team. Sunday is another challenge that we will relish and are certainly looking forward to.”
Squad from: Maddie Walsh, Jodie Randall, Rachel Heron, Rachel Javan, Maddy Leppard, Beth Cowd, Hannah Brock, Leah Johnson, Steph Beck, Beth Everson, Maisie Williams, Ellie Bishop, Lucy Solloway, Nicola Champion, Kiara Robins, Nelinha Barros.