Author Topic: 'Tired' players were ready for a break, says Bristol Academy boss Mark Sampson  (Read 1157 times)


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MARK Sampson admits managing Bristol Academy's squad during the mid-season break is going to be a delicate balancing act.

Although the FA Women's Super League has nearly a two-month lay-off until the second half of the season resumes on August 4, many of the Vixens' squad are likely to be called up for international duties over the weeks ahead.

Head coach Sampson knows it will be difficult making sure those involved on the international stage get enough rest – while those who aren't maintain their fitness.

"Rest is the most important thing for the players at the moment because it has been a very tough first half of the season for us in the WSL with an intense period of games," said Sampson.

"Last week, we played two games in four days, at Birmingham and at home to Lincoln, and we managed to win them both, which was fantastic.

"But you could see against Lincoln that the players were tired because we weren't at our best. The schedule has taken a lot out of the girls because of the effort and work-rate they have needed to put in to get the results which have taken us to second in the league."

Three of the Academy's first-team squad – midfielder Angharad James and defenders Jemma Rose and Grace McCatty – have already been included in the British Universities women's squad for next month's World Student Games in Russia. Goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain looks certain to be named in the England squad for next month's UEFA Women's European Championships in Sweden – the Three Lions will face France, Spain and Russia in Group C.

And Sampson believes Vixens skipper Corinne Yorston and England Under-23 defender Rose could also be in with an outside chance of call-ups.

"England have injury problems, with a number of players already ruled out or struggling to be fit, and I think Corinne would be an ideal replacement at left-back. She has been tremendous for us this season," said Sampson.

"Jemma has been outstanding, too, and it's a question of whether Hope Powell (England manager) would turn to a young player like her or go for someone with a bit more experience.

"We obviously hope all of our players involved in international football come back injury-free, but we also have to ensure those not involved are kept ticking over during the break and get enough work so they can maintain their fitness."

Sampson is looking for new faces during the break – which could be vital with no less than eight of the Vixens' players expected to be involved in the Wales squad for the European Under-19 Championships in their native country from August 19-31.

Emma Benyon, Rhian Cleverly, Ellie Curson, Georgia Evans, Rachel Hignett, Angharad James, Ellie Leek and Samantha Quayle are all in contention for places as Wales prepare for group games against England, France and Denmark.

"It causes us a problem because we have a WSL game scheduled at Doncaster on August 17 and it's one we need to play," said Sampson.

"We could probably get it called off because of the amount of players we will have unavailable, but it's hard to see when else we could fit it in – so we may just have to go into that game without the Welsh girls

A Club having 3 players or more selected for International Duty by their National Association for Under 19 UEFA and FIFA competitive matches may request a postponement of its League fixture provided at least 10 days’ notice is given to the League Secretary in writing. If 1 player is selected and that player is the goalkeeper, a Club could make a similar request for the postponement of its League fixture. This will only apply to Under 19 UEFA and FIFA competitive matches which are played within the FIFA Women’s International Match Calendar.

« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 03:30:40 PM by Sylvain »