‘I’m absolutely buzzing’ – Pompey Women boss Jay Sadler on his side’s FA Women’s Cup return next month
Pompey Women's boss Jay Sadler is 'absolutely buzzing' that his side will play competitively again this season - even if it does prove to just be a one-off fixture.
And he believes the added 'carrot' of a potential Women's FA Cup meeting with Super League side Arsenal in the fourth round has given his squad an added incentive ahead of their return to action.
Pompey are preparing to start working towards a round two meeting with Cheltenham Ladies at Hawks’ Westleigh Park on Sunday, April 4.
That's after it was confirmed the Women's FA Cup would be restarted this term having been paused because of lockdown restrictions.
The news was welcomed by Sadler and his squad as they await to discover whether they can resume their National League Southern Premier Division campaign with a decision on the outcome of the women's steps 3-7 season not expected until mid-March.
Sadler is one of the managers who have been pushing for a resumption, so he is delighted his side will have at least one more competitive match in the pandemic-scarred 2020-21 season.
If they beat Cheltenham, Pompey will host either Crawley or Gillingham for the right to play Arsenal at Boreham Wood FC.
'I’m absolutely buzzing, even for a one-off game, I’m trying to keep myself measured and controlled in the fact that we win two games and we play Arsenal away,' Sadler enthused.
‘they’ve kind of dangled the carrot in a way.
‘Speaking to the girls, as soon as we put it on the group chat and spoke to all the players and stuff, it was just an excitement that not only are we getting back into training but we’ve got something to train for.
‘It’ll obviously stoke the motivation and the fire to get back out and do some home (fitness) programmes that we’re getting sent out first thing now to get going again.
'We’ve got two training sessions and then we’re playing a competitive game in the FA Cup.
‘We normally have less time off during an off season so to come back in and have two sessions potentially and then play on the Sunday - it’s crazy.
‘But at the end of the day it’s what we’ve all been wanting to do, so we have to be positive and look forward to it.'
Sadler will explore the possibility of being granted special dispensation for his squad to resume full group training prior to the current Government guideline date of March 29.
He added: 'If anything comes out about being given special dispensation to train - I know Marine had it when they played Tottenham, they had special dispensation to train for an extra week or two.
‘If we get that then brilliant, that would be ideal for player welfare.
'But, obviously, we understand the Government guidance might not allow that and we’ve just got to work within our constraints.
‘The week leading into the Cheltenham game we’ve just got to manage the sessions accordingly and look forward to actually playing a competitive game.'