Bright beginning to Moneyfields Women's promotion mission after 'awful' pre-season
Karl Watson has seen his Moneyfields Women side make the perfect start to the Southern Region Women's Premier Division campaign - after the most 'difficult' pre-season he's ever faced.
Moneys saw several key faces leave in the close season following the FA's decision not to promote Watson's troops - despite the fact they sat top of the table when football was stopped last term because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Inevitably, Watson lost the influential Sokhara Goodall, Kiara Boylan - both to Crawley Wasps - and Francesa Webster, who headed to Dover, and was faced with a summer rebuild.
Despite the fact he managed to ascertain ex-Southampton FC Women trio of Emma Pinner, Natalie Bavister and Natasha Angel, along with former Oxford United player Ellie Kirby, Moneyfields Women lost all four of their friendly fixtures ahead of the new season.
Yet, since the curtain came up on the new campaign, Watson has seen his side soar to the top of the table, scoring 16 times while they are still to concede in three games.
The Moneys Women manager said: ‘The story of us so far is at the minute, after a really poor pre-season, with losing players, motivating them after what happened (missing out on promotion), getting everyone together because the season ran for a long time – it was the most difficult pre-season I’ve ever had.
‘We’ve scored 16 goals, none conceded - we haven’t played any of the bigger clubs yet - Ascot seem to have strengthened, Abingdon are still tucked up behind us, second on goal difference, although they’ve not scored as many.’
Moneys' latest league win was a thumping 6-0 success at Winchester City Flyers last Sunday.
It followed on from a 7-0 home win over Oxford City and a 3-0 opening-day triumph at Eastleigh.
And Watson says some choice words to his squad after a 3-2 pre-season friendly defeat against AFC Portchester Ladies seems to have done the trick.
He added: ‘I’m enjoying the intensity of the training sessions because the players have stepped it up - pre-season was awful and I gave them all a bit of a kick saying, ‘if we’re doing this then we’re doing it properly’.