Pompey Ladies open to change

Victoria Summerfield
Victoria Summerfield
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Pompey Ladies are open to the prospect of some radical changes to their sport in a bid to avoid winter hibernation.

After yet another postponement last weekend, the side have not played a competitive game since December 16 – a break of more than a month because of the ongoing bad weather.

Barring a weather-related disaster, the Ladies will finally be in FA Cup action on Sunday when they travel to Keynsham’s artifical all-weather pitch, with the game already called off twice before.

And joint-boss Perry Northeast is open to some of the ideas that have been discussed to avoid further repeats – including switching the season to the summer months.

‘The logistics might be tricky, but it’s possible that we could become a summer league. I don’t see why not,’ said Northeast.

‘The pitches tend to get their break in the summer, so that needs to be looked at.

‘The Women’s Super League runs from March to October and it helps clubs get a different fan base along to watch, while avoiding the worst of the weather.

‘The way we are trying to progress, we are trying to get into that Super League. But it’s something to look at.’

Pompey Ladies will undertake some specific training on a 4G artificial surface this week to adjust to the pitch they will play on this weekend.

And Northeast expects to see such pitches becoming more and more commonplace.

He said: ‘I would like to see these pitches coming in more in the future. They are expensive but we are seeing so many games called off and those pitches would stop it happening.

‘We could have a January break, but the trouble with that is you never know when the bad weather will come.’

With the FA Cup fixture twice postponed, the venue is reversed.

But Northeast is just pleased to get his team back into action.

‘We would much rather be at home but you know what, it’s a game,’ he said.

‘We usually train on Astroturf but we are looking to find the same surface to train on this week to get used to it a bit more.

‘It’s a good surface, there are no bobbles and you can’t blame the pitch for anything.

‘We normally train at Admiral Lord Nelson School but it’s a different surface.

‘Astroturf is slightly different to 3G or 4G so we need to adjust.’

Meanwhile, Northeast believes the links between the men’s team and the women’s team continue to grow after Victoria Summerfield was seen by the club doctor and physio for her knee injury.

He added: ‘It’s the first time I’ve ever known it to happen, so thanks to Alan Knight who sorted it out.

‘It’s more proof of the growing links between the men’s and the women’s team.’