AFC Bournemouth women had their first pre-season run out earlier this week, hosting Bermuda FA at Long Lane.
The Cherries, who only returned to training on Monday, came away as 4-3 winners thanks to goals from Lucy Cooper, Molly Clark, Pearl Mortimer and Darcey Maxted.
Bermuda were over in Dorset ahead of the island games in Guernsey, playing a warm up match against Steve Cuss' side, who fielded two different XIs.
Following the game, he caught up with afcb.co.uk and touched on the following points:
Return to training...
"I think, first and foremost, I was really pleased with the players. They all came back in a good fitness state and with good physicality, so it was great to be able to get the footballs out nice and early. We wanted to get back into a training routine - it's always nice to see one another after six weeks off, the players were enthusiastic to be back together. We've got a plan for the next seven weeks and we'll start to build our work up to increase our load as we go through the weeks."
First run out...
"It was an early friendly for us. In the first week, we normally would do some small sided games and get the footballs out, so the opportunity to play a good friendly against Bermuda ahead of the Island Games is one we thought would be good. We really enjoyed it, it was a good dame and a competitive game. The standard was high despite it being early in the season for us. I was pleased with the performance the players put in, as well as the fitness levels that they showed from the summer months."
Plan for pre-season...
"We're going to slowly build that work up for the players. We're in two or three nights a week throughout the summer. We have the opportunity to play some friendlies - we've got some good ones lined up against Portsmouth, Dorking and Bournemouth Sports. We've also got our annual trip to Devon, it's always important to bring the squad together for some bonding and we'll have some high-intensity training too. We'll gradually build it up throughout the summer months ahead of Sunday 20th August when our season starts."
The Cherries are next in pre-season action at home to Portsmouth on Sunday 23rd July. Kick-off is 2pm at Long Lane and entry, as always, is free.