Abi Ticehurst, our Women’s Football Correspondent, caught up with Craig Gareppo, Slough Town Ladies joint manager to discuss last season, promotion and the future of the Rebels women’s sides.
Reflecting on the 2020/21 season, “The season as a whole was very good. We started very well in league and was unbeaten up until the first lockdown happened, upon our return we picked up quite a few injuries in key areas which meant we finished the season with only one natural defender and no keeper, hence we suffered a few defeats in the last few games. We’re very pleased to have earnt promotion into Div 2, it was our ambition at the start of the season to gain promotion and we succeeded. Another huge plus was the emergence of our 2nd team, they started slowly but improved massively as the season progressed and by the end of the season were beating teams at the top of the league.”
The fight for promotion went right down to the final game of the season, “we endured a very difficult re-start after lockdown. We suffered a lot of injuries in key areas and lost a few games as a result. The end of the season was quite tense but once we got to the team to relax again the results picked up again. It was our aim at the beginning of the season and was overjoyed to have achieved it.”
And looking ahead to the 2021/22 season, a successful promotion, who to look out for and the potential challenges.
“Its going to be a challenge adjusting to the physicality of moving up a division, playing against a better team’s week in, week out, this is what we wanted and it’s a great challenge to have. The players know that they will have to be switched on for every game and . We have strengthened during the summer break and its going to be a challenge keeping a squad of 18 very good players happy, but it’s a challenge that I look forward to.”
“There isn’t any particular team that were looking forward to playing, its nice to go into the season not knowing much about the teams you’re facing. We approach every game focusing on all things that we do well and less about what other teams can do to a degree. When we get it right on the pitch the team does well. Hopefully, the results will show this.”
“Well, I’m not going to give to much away, but we have strengthened our midfield and defence during the break and have been looking very solid in pre-season, add to that we already have one of the top goal scorers in the league, so we feeling good about the upcoming season.”
An exciting development is both women’s side will join the men playing at Arbour Park for the upcoming season.
“It feels great to final have both teams playing at Arbour Park, last season, we didn’t feel it was right to only have the first team playing at Arbour Park, so we sourced additional funding that allowed both teams to play there.”
“We can’t wait for the season to get underway, good luck to all for coming season. The women’s game is growing with every year that passes, so many established teams have started development teams which is great to see the new players coming into the game.”
“We are always looking to recruit players of all abilities; we have great facilities for training and matchdays. The club has a contact information on the club website for anyone that would like to come down for a trial session.”