Women ease to first pre-season win
AFC Bournemouth Women kickstarted their pre-season with a 5-1 win over Chipping Sodbury at Verwood Town.
Helen Corbin bagged a brace, while there were also goals for Alexis Bussell and Chloe Newton, as well as an own goal.
It's the first of four pre-season fixtures for Steve Cuss' side, who are preparing for life in the National League after their application of upward movement was approved in May.
Following the game, Cuss spoke with afcb.co.uk about the run out for his side.
"It was a really good fixture for us. All the players got about 60 minutes of game time, which was perfect for them, so we were really pleased.
"It was a really good workout fitness-wise, especially in the heat.
"Our concern was looking after them and making sure they stayed hydrated as it was a tough shift for all of them off the back of pre-season, having trained in the rain and cooler weather.
"The pleasing thing is that everyone's got through that 60 minutes, which will hold them in good stead for the rest of pre-season and into the new campaign."
The manager went on to discuss what the main focus was of pre-season fixtures, with the side looking to compete a full season for the first time in two years now restrictions have lifted.
"We were looking at a lot of things from the first game," Cuss continued.
"We had to get match fitness back into the players because they'd been working hard over the last two weeks but there's nothing like a game.
"We focused on trying to move that ball and pass it, dominating possession. I felt at times we did that and created a lot of chances from a game point of view.
"The real focus was on just getting back out there and getting the minutes in the legs again."
While the players were able to get a matchday feel for the first time in two months, Cuss was particularly pleased with the strikers, three of which got on the scoresheet at the first time of asking.
"It was really pleasing to see our strikers on the scoresheet, that's always nice in the early season.
"We created a number of good opportunities to score goals, so to take five of them was great.
"From a pre-season point of view, getting strikers scoring goals early is good and they'll gain confidence from that."
With the season kicking off on Sunday 15th August, Cuss finished by stating what's in store for the side, who will travel to Swindon on the opening day of the season.
"We're very much trying to change training a bit just to focus on the demands of the new league that we're playing in," he concluded.
"We've increased training to three times a week, so that's having an effect on the player's bodies.
"The fixtures were out last week and we've got four midweek matches, which we're not used to playing, so we've got our next friendly which is mid-week so we can get used to that.
"We're just trying to adjust and think of the scenarios we might have in the new league and the challenge that we've got."
Thank you for your support
Bournemouth University for being our main girls and women's team sponsor, and iPRO and Vitality for supporting the womens' programme.