Play-off pain can spark Pompey Ladies’ title defence

Perry Northeast.  Picture: Michael Hulf
Perry Northeast. Picture: Michael Hulf
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Perry Northeast is confident Pompey Ladies are ready to put last season’s emotional rollercoaster behind them.

The defending champions kick-off the new FA Premier League southern division campaign tomorrow with a trip to face Cardiff (2pm).

There is plenty of motivation to have another crack at it

Perry Northeast

The contrasting feelings of joy and despair experienced earlier this year will have had a deep impact on all associated with the club.

Winning the southern division title at Privett Park was a great occasion, before the disappointment of losing the FA Super League play-off to Sheffield in agonising circumstances.

But Northeast is backing his players to turn those emotions into positive energy as they begin the defence of their title.

The signs are good after a positive pre-season finished with a 3-2 win against Chelsea’s development squad on Tuesday.

‘The players are fit, sharp, and raring to go,’ said the Blues boss.

‘They are never going to forget the pain of the play-off match but they have put it behind them.

‘When the players came back to training they were smiling and upbeat.

‘There is plenty of motivation to have another crack at it.’

Northeast has boosted his squad with the summer signings of Gemma Simmonds and Jemma Tewkesbury.

Both have played for Pompey before and their quality is well known within the club.

They have strengthened an already powerful squad and Northeast will have to make some tough decisions picking his side for each match.

Crucially, all his players from last season have stayed put.

Northeast said: ‘We’ve got competition all over the pitch, with players fighting for every single position.

‘All the players have re-signed from last season.

‘They achieved success last year and we have strengthened in numbers.’

Don’t miss the Sports Mail today for more news from Pompey Ladies.