Eagles Landing With Premier Ambition

In winning Division One North of the East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League last time out, Neil Matthews and his Arnold Eagles Ladies side find themselves playing Premier Division football this coming season.

It’ll be a tough proposition for them, they know that, but they’re also not there to make up the numbers either, and, with a number of local derbies to look forward, they’ll oppose Basford United, Mansfield Town and Notts County, between now and the seasons end, it’s a case of where those points will come from.

“I’m sure that clubs like Mansfield Town, Lincoln United, Chesterfield, who were up there last season, will have strengthened with the aim of promotion,” began Neil.

“With ourselves though, we’re not going in there just to make up the numbers and will be aiming for a mid-table finish, whilst looking at bonuses of taking something off the top sides.

“They are targets and we have to continually keep looking as to where we can collect points ourselves.

“As for derby matches, knowing each of them does add some more spice to it.

“Mansfield will be tough, especially after playing them last season (County Cup).

“Notts County, that’s a different prospect as we played their development side last season so that’ll depend on how the firsts have strengthened.

“Whilst Basford United, anything can happen there, so that’s an unknown prospect, really.”

Combatting the season ahead, and with the look at, and potential need for new players, and the cup matches that lie ahead, Arnold will travel to Thrapston Town in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup (2QR, 2 October), and Peterborough United Development in the EMWRFL League Cup (First Round, 6 November), Neil explains the method to some of his madness.

“There’s always a need for new challenges, fresh faces, open training sessions, as it keeps the squad thinking,” continued Neil.

“At the end of last season, I did sit and think, take a look at, what we’ve got here. I wasn’t really concerned although I do know that, in the (EMWRFL) Premier Division, we can’t be giving away (as many) goals.

“So, there’s been the need to tighten up at the back, but, retaining those we have done, that’s been key for us.

“In the FA Cup, Thrapston, we’ve played them before and there is something there for us.

“It’s a really good opportunity for us to be able to push on from a game like that. Yes, there’s a bit of travel involved, but it’s got to be better than say, Chesterfield.

“The League Cup, that’ll be nice for us to get a run put together, I guess it doesn’t really matter what happens there as there’ll always be a Nottingham Forest present.”

Now though, it’s all systems go for this Sunday (4 September) and the Premier Division opener for Arnold, when they host Anstey Nomads.

“We’ve fought hard to get into the Premier Division, so we’ll be looking to maintain that status, and to be able to progress as a club overall.”

Keep up-to-date with all things Arnold Eagles via their socials, Facebook and Twitter.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @ArnoldEaglesFC Neil Matthews (centre) discussing tactics.

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