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Ann Marie gives Brislington a helping hand
 Women's Football News 7 Dec 2012
Ann Marie gives Brislington a helping hand - 7 Dec 2012 - Women's Football NewsBrislington travel to St James' Park to play Exeter City in the First Round of the F.A.Women's Cup this Sunday and will be getting more than a little help from an FA WSL player. 
Bristol Academy striker Ann Marie Heatherson took over the role of Coach at the start of the season and she explained to Women's Soccer Scene how she got involved with the Somerset County League side. "During the close season, I normally go out and play for another team but every time I've done that I've got myself injured and ended up in a boot or something like that," she said. "I know Brislington really well and have worked with them since I have been here and rather than me just playing for anyone, I decided to help with some coaching."
With a victory in every game so far this season, there is no doubt that Ann Marie is enjoying her new role. "They're fantastic girls - they are on a great FA Cup run and doing really well in the league as well," she smiled. "It can be frustrating because as a player, you always want to go on and do something as the best way is to get on and do it yourself, but every time I ask the girls to do something they produce it. Everything I have taught them, they have taken into games and done really well."
Although they are only in their second season of senior women's football, the majority of the Brislington squad have been together since starting in girls football and remarkably have only ever been beaten once, in a County Cup semi final. "The players have worked as a team in all age groups since they were Under-11s and now they are in the seniors - it's not me that has done that, they have done it themselves," explained Annie. "I am just helping to top them up on their way with a little bit of instruction and motivation.
"They are not silly, they understand that sooner or later the winning run is going to come to an end. They are happy to just go out on the pitch and do their best. It's horrible being at a team where everyone says you are unbeaten because there is extra pressure, but these girls just enjoy playing football. If they lose, they lose, but it's going to be a hard job for any team to walk over them."
Nevertheless this run has bred a lot of confidence and this showed in the last round of the Cup when Brislington pulled off a shock 3-1 win away to Southern Region League title hopefuls Shanklin. "When we played at Shanklin in the last round, people said that we were going to be beaten but you have to take your hat off to the girls, they went out and did a fantastic job," says Ann Marie. "They battled, they worked hard and to be underdogs and come out with a great result is a fantastic achievment.
"There is no pressure on them, they are still learning and still young and that's the main focus for them. Maybe three or four years down the line you can say that you want to see them in a higher level but at the moment, they are loving the experience and doing well. The more confident these girls get, the better they get.
Ann Marie herself has a very good record in the FA Women's Cup, having lifted the trophy with Charlton Athletic in 2005 and also reaching the Final with the Addicks and Bristol Academy. So with the benefit of that experience, what advice could she pass on to the girls before they take on Exeter City? "Enjoy the moment, it's not every day that a newly formed team with girls of this age get into the First Round of the FA Cup," she replies. "We've got nothing to lose - just go out and do your best, stop them from playing and enjoy it.
"The girls mean a hell of a lot to me and I told them before the Shanklin game to be proud as we are proud of you. I wouldn't have gone all the way to the Isle of Wight if I didn't believe in them so if they go out on Sunday, I'll still be proud of them because they got there in the first place. But I know they'll give everything they have got on the day so I am already proud."

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