AFC Bournemouth Women were defeated 5-0 in a pre-season friendly away to Bridgwater on the weekend.
The hosts, previously known as Yeovil Town Ladies, provided a good test for Steve Cuss’ side, who start their National League campaign a week on Sunday.
After the game, he spoke to afcb.co.uk about the game and pre-season as a whole.
“There were parts of it that I was really pleased with,” he began.
“There were spells where we could certainly match our opposition. The question would be whether we can do that over a sustained period of time because we couldn’t quite do that over the weekend.
“I just wanted to plan our pre-season to give us these challenges and it’s allowed us to utilise a lot of players.
“I think our players will be better for it, they’ll feel like it’s a tough week and it’ll benefit them.
“It sets us up well now for our pre-season trip to Devon and we’re really looking forward to that.”
On Wednesday, the squad will go on a three-day pre-season tour to Ashbury Manor, using the facilities and pitches as final preparation for the 2021/22 campaign.
It’s something Cuss and the side have done previously and a great opportunity for some team bonding.
“I think it’s going to be hugely beneficial.
“We have a few younger players who have joined us up from the under-16s, we’ve also made some new signings and I think a trip like this has benefits on and off the pitch.
“I think the players get to know each other really well off the pitch but, from my perspective, it gives us more time out on the training ground over those three days.
“It worked really well for us last time we went on a camp together and I’m very much looking forward to it.”
With the season less than two weeks away, the manager spoke about the hard work his squad have put in over the past month.
Extra training and plenty of matches have set the side up well, and allowed for some youngsters to make their mark in the team.
“It’s been a huge amount of work for the girls to take in,” Cuss concluded.
“We’ve had this extra training session every week, but a couple of them this week have played the full 90 minutes at just 16 years old against a high level of opposition.
“I’m really pleased with them and they’ve settled into the group well and their progressing nicely so they’ll play a big part this season for us.”
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.