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Nigel Greenwood Previews Season Ahead For PNE Women

18 August 2022

Preston North End Women’s co-manager Nigel Greenwood is feeling confident for the season ahead with the Lilywhites set to get the ball rolling for 2022/23 against Accrington Stanley this weekend.

The women’s team have come through four pre-season fixtures over the last month – against Haslingden Ladies and Girls, Atherton Labernum Rovers and Ladies, Fleetwood Town Wrens Ladies and Darwen Ladies.

Despite there being plenty of encouragement on display during that time, and six new faces joining to complement the squad that finished fourth in the league last term, the preparation time has been reduced with the usual September kick-off being brought forward to late August.

Greenwood, though, who is co-manager of the side alongside David Rawcliffe remains optimistic about the campaign ahead.

Greenwood, a former North End striker himself, said: “Pre-season is always hard. We tell the girls the results in pre-season games don’t matter, so having three points to try and get in the league games does make a big difference.

“Especially after the summer we’ve had of women’s football, the girls are dying to get going again, and we’re hoping we can pick up where we left off last year. It’s up to us now.”

David and Nigel moved over from Sir Tom Finney Ladies to PNE Women last summer and brought with them a number of their former club’s players.

A handful of this summer recruits also have past association with Sir Tom Finney Ladies, including defender Natalie Jacques and midfielder Sam Ball.

Forward Maddison Hadley is also well known to Nigel and David, while further recruits have arrived with defender Eleanor Collins, goalkeeper Justine Elliott and midfielder Emma Foster – with the latter set to join up with the development squad initially.

Justine played on admirably through injury in the friendly at Fleetwood earlier this month, while Sam and Maddie have both been on the scoresheet already during pre-season.

Though the signs are promising Greenwood stressed it might take time before they can put their strongest XI together with players off at different points on holiday over the summer.

“You can never get your whole squad training every week and it has been a more condensed pre-season. We would have liked another couple of weeks at least to get a few more games under our belt.

“We have had some good pre-season games but every game is about fitness.

“We had been looking for a keeper all pre-season. Justine has done really well for us and played really well in the first game.

“Rose Stuttard played in goal for us for most of last season; she did really well for us, but she is an outfield player, and I think she wants to get back to playing upfront. Justine battled on bravely after getting injured in the warm-up.

“Eleanor looks liked she has played with us for a long time. She has settled in well, she knows the way we play and she has done really well.

“Sam is an experienced player that we have known for a while. She will be a good, strong player for us, and we’re very happy Maddie is back on board too; she will be a big addition for us.

“Nat was our captain at Sir Tom Finney. She does a lot for us on and off the pitch, so it will be good to have her back.”

Follow the women's team on Twitter by clicking here or view all of our fixtures that have so far been announced here.

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