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Podmore impressed with FCUMW's start to the season

Women’s Team manager Luke Podmore was more than impressed after his FC side won nine games from nine in pre-season
and has had even more reason to be pleased after the Reds’ start to the new season.

In September United produced a high-scoring opening day league win, a FA Cup victory and have started their defence of the Manchester FA Women’s Cup in a positive manner with the FA Cup defeat at Wigan, the only negative from the season’s opening month. As a result Podmore has been happy with what he has seen from his squad in the campaign’s opening weeks. "September has flown by! I’m really happy with the account of ourselves that we’ve given. Obviously with the 13-1 FA Cup win, the 17-0 win in the league and then obviously a disappointing loss to Wigan but of course circumstances in that game will tell you that on another day, it could have been a completely different story".

"It’s been a fairly pleasing September, it’s good to get through to the end of it and obviously it’s nice to see some of the new players get heavily involved in some of the goals and hopefully it’s only going to get better as time goes on!", Podmore added.

The most recent of the Reds’ games was the 3-1 win over Didsbury FC Ladies last Sunday in the Manchester FA Women’s Cup and Podmore admits it was good to get back to winning ways after the FA Cup disappointment the week before. "It was important that we responded with a win after the disappointing FA Cup exit the week before. Mentally, we were a little bit low, so it was good to get back to winning ways against Didsbury after the Wigan game".

With an ever-present goal-scoring prowess in the FC side this season, it was unusual to see a 0-0 score-line in the first half against Didsbury. Podmore admits that he asked for more urgency from his players at the break and it was something that they certainly rewarded him with in the second 45. "The first half was really frustrating. I think we dominated the game, we played backwards and sideways well, we just didn’t play forward fast enough. I think that had something to do with our mentality. Six changes to the starting line-up that day probably meant that it took us a little longer to find our feet".

"We changed a few things in the second half, we put some new players on and I asked for a bit more urgency and I feel like we had that straight away, we scored inside two minutes. It could have gotten to any score really if it wasn’t for the keeper at the other end", Podmore admitted.

Podmore mentions that spirits were a little low in the dressing room after the Wigan loss but suggests that it will only make the Reds better in the future. "It was a difficult one to pick the team up after the loss. Fortunately, we’re a team that doesn’t lose a lot but that means it’s harder to take when it does come. We’ve got to move on from it, we can’t dwell on past games; we have to learn from it and turn it into a process. Hopefully we’ll use it to be stronger in the future and when the next fixture like this comes around, we’ll be better prepared for it".

It hasn’t been all pitch-side action for Podmore in the last week either, on Thursday night the manager accompanied by assistant Mark Partington, skipper Kirsty Chambers and midfielder Jess McCarrick attended the Newton Heath Supporters Branch meeting discussing all things about the football club. Podmore recalls it as a pleasant experience. "It was really nice to see what goes on behind the scenes at the branch meeting. The effort that the fans put into this club is very special and it’s something that I’m very privileged to be a part of. It was an honour to be present and contribute to as a whole. To let the fans ask questions and show an interest in our team is a wonderful thing. I really enjoyed it, being able to discuss the future plans for the football club with the fans was nice. I hope the fans got a lot from it. We are that sort of football club where the fans are close to us".

The Newton Heath Supporters Branch have sponsored Jess McCarrick for the 2017-18 season and Podmore admits that the number of player sponsors the Reds have had has been brilliant. "It’s nice for the players to show that they can give something back to the fans. It’s been brilliant, I think a lot of people have taken notice of us now and we are a big name in the women’s game at the moment. It’s a good time for us, a potentially exciting season ahead and so it’s become an attractive offer to sponsors, members and fans of the club as well".

The night before Thursday’s Newton Heath Supporters Club branch meeting, the club announced the signing of midfielder Cara Fields from Sheffield FC Ladies, one that Podmore was very pleased to secure and add to his very talented squad for this season. "Cara’s a fantastic signing for us; I’m really excited about this one. She’s an outstanding player, from what we’ve seen in training already and the feedback we’ve had from people that know her has all been positive. I’m really excited to get her involved in the game on Sunday for her debut. She’s going to change the way we play a little bit, she’ll contribute to our dominance in the middle of the park and also she’ll give us that strength in depth in and around the middle. I’m sure Cara can be versatile too and play in a couple positions if we need her to. She’ll give us a boost for Sunday and I’m looking forward to seeing what impact she will have on the game".

Podmore alluded to Sunday’s trip to Liverpool Marshall Feds Reserves, the Reds’ first league game for two weeks due to participation in various cup competitions. Although he is looking to start October with another three points, the manager knows that Sunday’s game will be a very tough test. "I’m really looking forward to Sunday. We know Feds are top of the league, and therefore it’s probably the most difficult fixture out there at the moment. We’ve had a really good week of preparation, a good turnout at training and overall a fantastic attitude from all of the players. Spirits are high again, we knew how to put everything right and we are ready to bounce back once again.”

"There’s a little bit more excitement now that we’re back in league action, I think we’ve missed it. Obviously we’ve only played one league game so far and so I’d like to see us put a run together and really focus on the league as much as we can. Sunday could be slightly tricky but I think we’ve got a fantastic squad, the talent we’ve got here should mean that we come home with the three points and nothing less!"

You can see Luke Podmore and his FC side travel to Liverpool Marshall Feds Reserves in the league tomorrow, 2pm KO at IM Marsh Sports Centre, Barkhill Road, L17 6BD!

We hope to see you there!

By Mikey Partington

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First Posted ~ 20:56 Sat 30 Sep 2017
News ID ~ 7614
Last Updated ~ 20:56 Sat 30 Sep 2017