Now the dust has settled on the first season for Bootham Ladies and preseason for the next about to start, we sat down with Head Coach Chris Collins to have a quick chat.
Interviewer – Thank you for sitting down with us Chris, congratulations on finishing your first season, how do you feel it all went?
Chris – It has been amazing, something we have worked towards since the club first formed 5 years ago. It was always our dream to have a ladies team, so to actually compete at this level was the realisation of that dream.
Interviewer – What was the biggest thing you learnt this season?
Chris – Lots! Tactically we learned a lot as the season progressed. Early on, our out of possession was very poor, but a chat with Junior Roberti of York Futsal gave us some simple things to work on and this helped. There was so much to think about after the games, and we started recording the matches and watching them back, this was a great help for me and the players. We have been lucky to be awarded a Local Giving grant to buy a better video camera, something we can’t wait to use, not just with the ladies’ team but with the whole academy.
Interviewer – What impressed you most this year about your team?
Chris – I was so proud of the way none of the players walked away from a pretty awful start to the season. Getting beat the way we did at the start could have put off a lot of players, but they stuck together and winning the last game really did show the team spirit we have. I was so pleased when Eleanor W played for the ladies’ team – she is the first of hopefully many, that will have graduated from the academy to play for the ladies team. Remember we finished the season with an average age of just over 17 on the pitch in the last game.
Interviewer – When does the new season start and what are your expectation?
Chris – The new season starts late August, early September, we are just waiting for the fixtures to be released. We have a five year plan in place and next season is about consolidating our learning, to be more competitive in the games and hopefully win a few more matches. This is a national league with some very strong teams, so we are not kidding ourselves we will be near the top. But as long as the team keeps improving and moving forward then that’s us moving in the right direction. Our time will come!
Interviewer – Are we expecting any new players in the squad for the new season?
Chris – We start pre-season in June and we have been talking to lots of players to see if they want to come down and try futsal. It’s not an easy sell as most females don’t really know the game. That said we have some of the academy players graduating this year and they will be eligible at different times during the season – Ellie R and Ava W are two we can’t wait to make their debuts. It’s early days but fingers crossed we can sign two or three players to make the squad stronger next season.
Interviewer – Is there anything you would change for the new season?
Chris – We desperately want to play at home next season, in York, in front of our fans! We want the younger players of the club, which number over 60 now, the chance to watch the ladies in the flesh for themselves. We know we would get a great crowd to come and watch, so fingers crossed this will happen.
Interviewer – Finally, what is the expectation for next season?
Chris – We want to improve on last year, to be more competitive in the games but above all else I want to keep the team improving in all areas. I am looking forward to bringing more players through from the younger ages and seeing them start for that ladies’ team will be amazing.