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Women's Football News
Curzon Ashton manager Paul Cocks is setting his sights on improvement this season in the new-look FA Women's Premier League.
Curzon will play in Midland Division One and Cocks is aiming to build on last season, when they finished in the bottom half of the table in the Midland Combination.
"With this being my first full season in charge after braving relegation last season, this was my first full test in terms of re building a team," he said. "The challenge straight away was keeping the players who wanted to be a part of my vision and philosophy.
"I intend to make sure that we have a team technically and physically prepared for the season in the Premier League. From last season we were feeling we needed critical surgery, new players to help more flexibility in the team as last season we were caught when the injury list grew."
Cocks has been busy throughout the summer strengthening the squad: "I looked towards the youth team at the club and signed the Under-16s captain Layla Whyatt who has shown great progress over the summer, also with the introduction of the new signings including goalkeeper Chloe Ainsworth from Manchester United who is one of the best in the region. Striker Sandra Elanga, a strong powerful striker who will give us more goals, midfielder Abby Bennett who shows great quality and gives us even more on the ball in midfield, two strong defenders in Sian Taylor and Kendel Latham who show strength and composure, and winger Lucia Cicchirillo who still needs time to adapt but there is no question she will be hitting the ground running soon.
"They are all young players who over pre-season have improved and have given me more variety in the squad and my system. There is no such word as" first teamer" - I need everyone.
"It's a very young team but this is the start of the process. When you look at the profiles of the players, it's not just about the physical profile or the tactical profile, it's also the psychological profile. I believe the experience that they will get not only in this league but the guidance of the older players will help them a lot.
"It's about getting to know our football and consistency of understanding our shape, its natural progression and the task of keeping the players working hard will make us a real force again in the women's game. We have shown great character in the friendlies and I have learnt a lot about my players over the last few months in terms of character and work rate and we will be ready for Rotherham United for the first game.
"From my perspective as Curzon manager I say we want to compete, we are ready to compete and we are not looking at other teams. In terms of the County Cup we want to be winners, I have the right squad and I want the right profile to attack the County Cup.
"The situation is dangerous for everybody but I start the season saying to compete better in the league and to win the County Cup …we are the motivated team."
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