Category: Front Page, Womens
Dave Edmondson's Blog - Lady Reds update
With the increase of modern technology and in particular the Internet, the number of 'experts' and critics has grown significantly in the sporting arena.
The Lady Reds are certainly not immune to these experts and critics, with forum posts and Facebook comments criticising their preparation, lambasting squad selections and hammering individual player performances.
Of course everyone is welcome to their own opinion and this is no different to pre-forum days, the only difference being that when someone posts something on a forum and it appears in print, other people somehow seem to believe it and presume it must be true!
So what is the truth about the 2012/13 Lady Reds?
Is it the same old story, are they under prepared, are they thrown together at the last minute, are they disowned and unwanted, as many 'experts' would have you believe?
Well I'm afraid to say, for all the glass half empty brigade, the pessimists and the defeatists out there - NO!
A preliminary squad of 18 players has been selected with two remaining spots to be decided on in the week ahead.
The Lady Reds have been working closely with Adelaide United this season and the squad is set to be announced and introduced at half time of the Reds match against Western Sydney Wanderers at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.
The Lady Reds have also enjoyed an outstanding response to its inaugural membership package and can boast close to 50 members for the 2012/13 season.
The first match of the season is on Saturday, October 20 at Burton Park against new club WSW. The match kicks-off at 2pm.
In terms of preparation and the lead up to this W-League season, throughout 2012 a group of players were selected to play as the NTC squad in the boys U15 A division.
This group of players included a number of 2011/12 W League players, such as; Ruth Wallace, Racheal Quigley, Emma Checker, Grace Henry and Ebony Philcox and some potential future W-League players like Jess Waterhouse, Laura Johns, Monique Ianella, Issy Hodgson and Ellie Bills.
A number of 'senior' players we also invited in to train with the squad as the year went on and the new W-League season approached.
Throughout the winter season I watched every possible game of Women’s football, ranging from U13, U15's and U17's to Division 1, Reserves and of course the Premier League, in an attempt to unearth any previously missed talent – and believe me we do have some talented players in SA!
Players I spotted and players nominated by clubs were then invited to trial for the Lady Reds alongside those NTC and previous W-League players.
In total over 50 players attended the trials, from which a training squad of 30 was selected. This squad of 30 very committed and dedicated players have then undertaken a comprehensive 'pre-season training program consisting of five team sessions per week plus extra individual strength and conditioning sessions.
Many of these young women are training 8-10 times per week now, on top of their school, university and work commitments.
Last week, a squad of 18 players was provisionally named, with a small number of 'train on' players named as well.
These train on plays will continue to work with the squad and be available as injury replacements or straight replacements should the squad need it.
The final two squad places will be decided upon prior to the season opener and the players in contention for those spots are aware of the situation and are working very hard to secure those last two spots.
As the season approaches, preparation continues, with five team sessions per week on the grass as well as some team building and bonding exercises off the pitch.
Three warm up games have been arranged in the past month with one internal game during the STIC tournament and another on the weekend against the FFSA Boys Development squad.
There will be a third pre-season hit-out on Thursday night again against the FFSA Boys, which should give the team a real test.
I am sure this kind of preparation and commitment from the players will come as a surprise to many of the forum posters and pessimists and to be honest it only really scratches the surface!
It doesn't mention the recovery protocols the players go through, the ice baths, the stretching, the recovery sessions following games or the extra fitness sessions organised by our captain which are attended by a growing number of players each week.
It doesn’t account for the financial sacrifices made by players who have to turn down shifts at work to attend trainings or matches, or consider the international players who are continuing their university studies, including sitting exams, whilst overseas.
It also doesn't consider the VOLUNTEERS who are working behind the scenes to secure sponsorships and memberships for the team!
Could the preparation be better, of course it could. The Women’s Premier League could finish a little sooner to give the W-League squad longer together before the season, the gap between the Women’s Premier League and the W-League could be closer and this is an area that both the FFA and FFSA are addressing.
I am sure Alex Ferguson and Brendan Rodgers would rather their players weren't called off to national duty mid season or spent their off season playing in World Cups or African Nations Cups etc.
But, you have to accept interruptions and simply do everything you can to control the controllables and provide the players and team the best possible preparation, which is what we have done.
SO finally for the glass half full people out there, the Lady Reds are fitter and more organised than last season.
We have a more balanced and competitive squad. I am immensely proud of this bunch of young women and I back them 100% as I know a number of you out there do as well.
I am sure the hard work put in by everyone since our last game last season will pay off this season and you will see a new Adelaide United Lady Reds.
Jump on the positive band wagon and support your team, THE LADY REDS!