The Dugout: Ladies #10Date: 10 March 2018 at 09:47 by Liam Cook
Following this week's confirmation of Coventry United Ladies' bid to join the newly named FA Womens' Championship, Jay Bradford gives her thoughts on the bid and the cup semi final at Blackburn. CUTV's Liam Cook asks the questions.
Liam - The big news this week was the confirmation of our bid to join the newly named FA Womens’ Championship (Tier 2) for next season. Can you put into words what it has took to put this bid together?
Jay - The bid is a huge process. Every detail of the club must be explained and rationalised, so people outside the club have a clear understanding of our vision, and most importantly, sustainability should we be successful. Jade Ogle deserves a special mention for her work on bringing the bid to life, and also Coventry United TV for the video that showcased all our wonderful strands of the club so perfectly.
Liam - What would it mean for yourself, the players, the club and the city of Coventry for United to become a Tier 2 club?
Jay - We are desperate to be a Super League club. We have been chipping away for a few years, but I feel this year we are in a really solid position to fulfil our ambitions. In regards to the city, I think it would be great. Young females would have role models on their doorstep that they can really support and get to know on a personal level. For me personally, I would be over the moon. I have been part of every bid that the club has submitted, so to finally be successful would be worth all that heartache.
Liam - What makes United a credible candidate to join the new FA Championship?
Jay - I think we are transparent with our plans. We work hard to better ourselves in a sustainable manner and we have some great people that are working behind the scenes that aren't here for a quick 5 minute glory hunt. They want a club that feels like a family and that they can really share and be part of. I think that's what we offer as a club, and for me, that’s’ really special.
Liam - Now the FA Womens’ Championship bid has been confirmed, does this put more pressure on the squad to perform and impress the FA? Or rather will the recent added exposure inspire the girls?
Jay - The girls are under no pressure. They will impress the FA by doing what they have always done, and that's winning games and competing for league's and cups. We are in contention for the league and in two semi finals, so the only pressure is the pressure we apply to ourselves. Now is the perfect time for the players to thrive and achieve what they are capable of.
Liam - Now the extreme weather conditions are hopefully behind us, there is still half of Premier League matches to be played and more cup matches ahead. How will the focus in training on conditioning at the start of the season pay off?
Jay - I think we are in really good shape as a squad. We have pretty much everyone back from injury, so competition for places is really high and the girls know that they must look after themselves and be playing well to keep their shirt. That was something I wanted to bring to the first team when I took the job. No one is bigger than the team and we must all play our part to achieve anything.
Liam - This Sunday sees a meeting of two sides with a large amount of games in hand in their respective divisions, which if won could see both sides top of their tables. Are you expecting a close match at Blackburn in the FA WPL Cup Semi Final?
Jay - I am expecting a battle. Blackburn are a great side and aren't new to winning things, so they will know what it takes to go all the way. I say it all the time, but I trust my players, I trust my staff to deliver the information through sessions that will prepare us and leave no stone unturned.