Ladies 1 month ago

Ladies: Keynsham Town Preview

Watford FC Ladies have the opportunity to return to the top of the FA Women’s National League Southern Division when they host Keynsham Town Ladies this Sunday (November 17).

The Golden Girls have been in fine form lately, winning the last five and being unbeaten in eight. Extending that winning run will see Clinton Lancaster’s side go back above Crawley Wasps.

It certainly won’t be easy however, with Keynsham enjoying a good spell themselves and gradually moving up the table.

Views from the Head Coach

Things have been going pretty well lately, with Watford’s winning streak now up to five games and the Hornets having scored at least three in each match.

“We are very happy with what we are seeing at the moment,” Clinton Lancaster told watfordfc.com. “That certainly doesn’t mean we can take our foot off the gas though.

“We can always be better and always improve, and that is what we try to do every week in training and in every game we play.”

The away record in the league has been flawless, but now the home form is starting to match it. Watford can go back top if they record a fourth straight victory at the Orbital Fasteners Stadium.

“We are all very pleased to be back at Kings Langley this weekend and playing in front of our home fans,” said Lancaster.

“The pitch is in brilliant condition. We just need to continue with where we left off and put in an excellent performance for the supporters.

“The players know there is a long way to go and all they focus on is winning each game. If a win puts us top again then great, but that will only matter at the end of the season.”

A few weeks ago this might have looked like a slightly easier match-up. Keynsham have since turned things around after a difficult start, taking seven points from the last nine, including an impressive win at Oxford United last time out.

“They have some good players in their squad and some experience,” explained Lancaster. “It comes as no surprise that they have started picking up points.

“It will be a difficult game for us. They will no doubt come out quickly and give it a good go, but we’ll be ready for that.

“I want to see us enjoy the game, play our football and create lots of chances. We will be patient when we have the ball and we will have to be clever with our movement to get in behind.

“These are all things we have shown this season and we want to continue that this weekend.”

Flashback

Watford 2-1 Keynsham Town (March 8, 2015)

The two teams last met back in 2015, when they faced each other in the Fourth Round of the Women’s FA Cup.

Just like in the previous round, the Golden Girls had drawn lower league opposition at home. Having already beaten promotion challenging Brighton & Hove Albion, this seemed an easier proposition, with Keynsham bottom of the table and having only taken one point from 14 games.

Despite their poor league record, the visitors had managed to win two games to get to this stage and were looking for a third consecutive win on the road in the competition.

It took until the 28th minute for Watford to make the breakthrough, Hollie Wride’s deft flick from Dawn Mallett’s corner beating Elena Pasare in the opposition goal.

That was Wride’s first for the Hornets and it didn’t take her long to add to that tally, doubling Watford’s lead a little over ten minutes later.

The cup tie was made a little more interesting before the break as Justine Lorton-Radburn pulled a goal back for the visitors. They couldn’t find an equaliser in the second half as John Salomon’s side looked comfortable and professionally saw the game out to seal a place in the Last 16.

That’s where the cup run would come to an end, as a trip to eventual winners Chelsea would prove a step too far.

Team: S Burgess, M Burgess, Hector, Robe (Gillard, 75), Wride, Gunn, Donnelly, Mallett, Farrow, Deacon (Ward-Chambers, HT), Adamson (Nuttall, HT)

Goal | Wride (28, 41)

Visitors

Since that difficult campaign in 2014/15, during which they only managed to pick up five points, Keynsham have played in the South West Division of the FA WNL. During those seasons, they were a consistent threat towards the top end of the table, finishing third twice and fourth once.

With Chichester City and Plymouth Argyle going unbeaten for two of those years, it was hard to mount any sort of promotion challenge. That all changed in 2018/19.

Keynsham put together a fantastic campaign as they went 17-2-1 and finished seven points clear of their nearest challengers. A 3-0 loss at home to second placed Southampton Women’s FC made the title race interesting, but they responded in style, winning nine straight games.

Unbelievably, their goal difference at the end of the season was +100, as they netted 115 times. Kerry Bartlett enjoyed a remarkably prolific campaign in front of goal, averaging more than two goals per game in the league and scoring 63 in all competitions.

Ahead of their return to the third tier, they managed to keep most of the regulars from the promotion side together, however, there were a few departures. This included the two top scorers, as Bartlett joined Cheltenham Town and Laura Williams made the move to Yeovil Town.

Keynsham had to wait a week longer to get the 2019/20 season underway, with the game against Oxford United on opening day being postponed. It meant their first fixture was in the Determining Round and they progressed to the FA WNL Cup, beating Buckland Athletic 2-1.

It would be their only win for more than two months, as they suffered six straight league defeats and also forfeited their FA WNL Cup game. The losses were either by a small or large margin, with three being by a single goal and the other three being five-goal reverses.

Things are now looking up though. Keynsham got their first league win against Chichester City and then followed that up with a point against Hounslow. Arguably their most impressive result was last time out, as they won 1-0 away at Oxford United, in the match that was originally postponed on opening day.

A look at their squad shows one that has plenty of experience at both a higher level and also internationally. The turnaround will come as no surprise to many in the women’s game and the Hornets will know they’ll have to be at their best to get the three points today.

Last time out

Chichester City 2-3 Watford

Team: Wilson, Hill, Kettle (Beckett, 57), Huggins, Rolandsen, Scanlon (Stojko-Down, 61), Chandler, Vyse, Ward (C), O’Leary, Carid (Fatuga-Dada, 68)

Goals | O’Leary (3, 72), Ward (39)

Oxford United 0-1 Keynsham Town

Team: Haynes, Alborghetti (Nash, 75), Cullen (C), Curson, Davies (Hinchcliffe, 61), Grogan, Lorton, Carvalho, Munro, Nightingale, Yorston

Goal | Lorton (16)

Information

Watford FC Ladies v Keynsham Town Ladies
FA WNL
Sunday 17th November
3pm
Kings Langley FC
WD4 8BS

Ticket Prices

Adults £6
Concessions £3
U18s £1
50 per cent off all admission prices for Watford FC Season Ticket Holders

Ladies 1 month ago

World Diabetes Day: “It’s A Very Misunderstood Condition”

Today celebrates World Diabetes Day for global awareness focusing on diabetes mellitus. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight. 

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to raised glucose levels in the blood (known as hyperglycaemia). Over the long-term high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.

19 year old, Katie McLean, goalkeeper for Watford FC Ladies Under-23s, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2004 but this does not stand in the way of her footballing dreams. McLean has not let the condition put her off the game, but has learnt how to adapt and play safely with her condition, even if she has been told not to. 

“I have had people question my physical ability based on the fact I have diabetes,” Katie told watfordfc.com. “My response has always been - ‘well I guess I’ll have to prove you wrong!’

“I was diagnosed with Diabetes in 2004 (aged three) after I became unwell with the most common symptoms of diabetes, needing to urinate often, constant thirst and very lethargic. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas cannot produce insulin. Daily, this means regular blood tests and injections in order to keep my blood glucose levels in range. It is a very misunderstood condition and I hope that this will open up more conversation about how serious it can be.”

Mclean is determined not to let this affect her football, but of course she may have a slightly different routine to other players. Katie has to think a lot further ahead around her training and game schedule. 

“My preparation all starts the night before,” she said. “Whenever I have training or a game I always decrease 0.5 units off my standard evening insulin and this is the same for the morning dose too. In the morning I’m not always hungry so I really have to plan my food in the day to make sure I’m eating sufficient carbohydrates that will give me the energy at football. I have to consider how much I’m eating and what the potential insulin dose will be. Throughout the day I blood test a little more often making sure I remain level as we get closer to the game or training. This isn’t always achievable, diabetes is a daily challenge and my blood glucose levels will rise during training naturally.

“The main difficulty is, extremely high glucose levels which is very dangerous to the body, meaning if I wasn’t to inject any insulin I could end up in hospital, or worse. As I’ve got older I have learnt to blood test regularly during exercise, ensuring my glucose levels are stable. It has been a challenge as I’ve been put on many different types of insulin, but things are finally under better control.”

McLean has partnered up with The Diabetes Football Community to inspire, motivate and promote other women and girls with Type 1 to get involved in sport and football. The project is aiming to encourage women and girls with diabetes to get involved whether they have experience in football or just want a new challenge. In the new year, the team plan to be getting together a GB Diabetic Women’s Futsal Team.

Katie McLean is a fine example of how nothing can get in the way of your dreams, even with a serious condition like this. 

“I am thrilled to be playing with Watford Under-23s this season but there’s still hope I will push even higher,” she said. “I am so proud of where I have come already, but I want to keep going.”

McLean wants to inspire people to play football or be involved in sport if you have this condition, and not let people tell you that you can't.

“My advice would be to make sure you do plenty of blood tests throughout football training and when possible for games. I would also suggest telling your management and team to ensure they have understanding so they can help you, don't be ashamed. This for me is vital as low blood sugars are common for some in exercise and I also suffer from these. Low blood sugars (hypoglycaemia) are serious, can happen quickly and can result in seizures. Most importantly it will not affect your physical ability or potential in succeeding so do not let anyone tell you differently!”

You can find more information about this on the Diabetes UK website.