WOMEN'S WEEKLY

Posted on: Thu 01 Aug 2013

The summer break is over for the Chelsea Ladies team. The league season resumes on Sunday with a home game.

Some of the squad have been taking part in international tournaments, with striker Sofia Jakobsson making it as far as the European Championship semis and defender Naomi Cole winning gold at the World University Games, and on returning to training there are some new faces to greet those who have been away.

Chelsea Ladies assistant manager Paul Green reports on changes since the last game in early June.

'A few of the other teams in the league have done a bit of business but we have been probably one of the most active in the transfer window,' he says,' and it is to the benefit of the squad in both the short term and the long term.

'We brought in Yuki Ogimi (pictured above left) who is a world-class striker and is going to bring a lot of quality and experience to the squad, and hopefully she can get off the mark at the weekend against Doncaster.

'We have also brought in Marie Hourihan who is a goalkeeper from Birmingham to provide really strong competition in that department.'

In addition to those experienced arrivals, it is anticipated that by the weekend two of the best young players from the Centre of Excellence will be confirmed as new members of the squad.

'We know it is important we start to develop players through the club, and they will be the third and fourth to come through this year,' says Green.

'So I think we are stronger going into the second half of the season and we have freshened the squad up. It has a better look about it with the youngsters coming in and the enthusiasm and energy they bring, as well as the top quality in Yuki.

'We look more equipped and the coaching staff have had more time with the players to get across our philosophy. Overall there is a better feeling than there was at the start of the season.'

All the new squad members are in contention for playing a part in Sunday's game, with training this week likely to decide whether they start the match. The Ladies went into the summer recess in fourth position in the FA Women's Super League table. This weekend's opponents Doncaster are five points behind and bottom. In the away meeting back in April Chelsea won 4-0.

'It was our best result but it wasn't a particularly great performance,' notes Green. 'Our best performance has probably been the Liverpool home game, we are the only team to beat them, but certainly if we could replicate the away score against Doncaster then that would be a great way to begin the second half of the season.

'But Doncaster won't be an easy team, we know it is going to be a difficult game but if we can play well then I am sure we can get the three points.'

- Chelsea Ladies versus Doncaster takes place on Sunday at Staines Town FC, kick-off 2pm.