Belfast Telegraph

Glens Women get league campaign off to a flyer

 

Fast start: Glentoran Women's manager Billy Clarke
Fast start: Glentoran Women's manager Billy Clarke

By Jonathan Martin

Glentoran Women made a red hot start to the Danske Bank Women's Premiership and manager Billy Clarke is hoping to keep the momentum going.

The Glens strolled to a 6-0 victory over Comber Rec. Ladies in their first test, leaving confidence high going into their clash with Derry City at the Brandywell tonight.

The league leaders are determined to set the early pace in the title race and experienced boss Billy Clarke is wary of the threat posed by the north west side.

"Derry City are a good side and progressed well last season, especially in the second half of the campaign," said Clarke.

"It won't be an easy game and will be their first game at home this season and they'll be fired up for it.

"We need to get ourselves focused for the game and continue the momentum from the Comber victory and try and pick up three points."

Elsewhere, Cliftonville start their league campaign with a home fixture to Comber Rec.

Also in the north west, Sion Swifts host Crusaders Strikers while Linfield Ladies have a rest week in the seven-team league.

Last season Derry City finished in sixth position and manager Kevin McLaughlin hopes his side will be more competitive in this campaign.

"We were beaten by Crusaders Strikers 2-0 last week at Seaview but we played some nice football and there where plenty of positives," he said.

"Against a team the standard of Glentoran our ambitions are to compete in the game and look to play good football.

"I'm confident results will come down the line; it might not be against Glentoran or next week but I believe they'll come. Defeats aren't really something that we are worried about at this stage of the season."

McLaughlin took over the reins at Derry City midway through last season and is happy with his side's progress.

"The squad is essentially the same as last years, and we have Kerry McIntosh back from injury," he added.

"I have had more time to work with them and feel as if I have a talented bunch of players to work with.

"Having a full preseason has brought a better structure to the club and I'm upbeat about the season ahead.

"Having a style of play over time will allow their talent to show and it's also a matter of getting them to play as a team rather than a bunch of individuals.

"Picking up points at the Brandywell is something which is vitally important. We want to get people through the doors at home and its up to us to put on performances so that people want to come and watch us.

"By mid season I would love us to be in a position where we aren't looking down the table and worrying instead looking up and competing in mid-table and enjoying our football."

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