City of Portsmouth’s preparations for their latest UK Women’s League match have been thrown into turmoil.
The Mountbatten Centre-based side go into Sunday’s fixture in Glasgow with 10 athletes unavailable.
And that has left coach Gerry North with a major selection headache for the second-round match and a depleted squad to call upon.
Joining key distance runners Karrie Blake and Cassie Thorp in informing North they won’t be travelling north of the border are Taylor Langford-Smith, Helen Stannard, Claudia Cubbage, Gaby Rowsell, Louise Douglas, Kerri-Ann Body, Sian Hawkes and Morgan Gascoigne. That threatens to leave City exposed in some key events.
North, however, is attempting to remain positive amid the hardship.
‘Luckily, everyone is saying they will go to Derby for the final match next month, so at least we’ll get a full team out for there,’ he said.
‘I’m sure a lot of other teams will be the same, with a lot travelling from down south.
‘Glasgow are going to win it, obviously, but if we can finish fifth or sixth on Sunday with the squad I have I’ll be happy.’
City, who initially finished fourth in Abingdon in their first league match, will be boosted by the news Reading AC have been deducted points from the season’s opener.
They included athletes who were not registered for the match and have since been demoted from third and replaced by Portsmouth in the top three.