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Sporting Khalsa have achieved the highest finishing position in the club's history this season, their 4-1 victory over Bedworth Utd on Sunday taking them above their opponents and into fourth place in FAWNL Division One Midlands.
We talked to Sporting Khalsa captain Toni Parkes, who was pleased with the way the team bounced back from defeat in their County Cup Final a few days earlier, and also with the club's improvement in league position from last time around:
WSS. Well done on a good win against Bedworth on Sunday, a good way for your team to round off the season?
TP: Definitely, especially after the disappointment of the County Cup Final. It will give the team some confidence moving on into next season.
WSS. The Bedworth result means that you have won five of your last six league games, presumably confidence must be really high amongst the team?
TP: Going into the Bedworth game, I wouldn't say that the team was confident. We needed that win and a good performance to rebuild our confidence after the defeat on Tuesday night to Stoke City Ladies in the County Cup Final. Bedworth equalised on Sunday and our response to that was crucial; not crumbling under pressure, showing resilience and coming away with a comfortable win.
WSS: Did that win make up for losing the county cup final in any way?
TP: No... I think losing the cup final will stay with the team for a little while longer. I believe we need to dwell on it, and look at why Stoke were better than us on the night. Their physicality, strength and composure in front of goal. Maybe it's something we can emulate moving forward? The win at Bedworth gives us a good platform to build upon and move forward in a positive direction.
WSS. What would you have said if you had been offered a fourth place finish at the start of the season?
TP: I set a personal goal at the start of this campaign, I believed we could finish within the top three and challenge for promotion, so wouldn't have taken fourth place but on reflection, we finished eighth last season so jumped up four places. If we emulate that next season we will finish first.
WSS: What do you think was the team's best performance and result of the season?
TP: Best performance as a team I believe was our home game against West Bromwich Albion. We lost the game 2-1 but we showed real character, never gave up and took our game to them. We showed that on our day, we could compete with the best team in the league and could have taken some points off of them but ultimately, they were more clinical in front of goal.
WSS: Is there anybody in the team who has had a good season for you, and deserves a particular mention?
TP: So many of the ladies have impressed this season, Jess Keeling our centre back is so composed and calm on the ball, she makes my heart skip with panic at times but always completes the pass or takes it's calmly around the opposition. Natalie May's touch and skill on the ball is phenomenal. Jules Stirrup has also had a great season! This is just to name a few.
WSS: Are you confident that this season has provided a good base for doing even better in the league next time around?
TP: I 100% believe that we can and should be pushing for promotion next season. As I said earlier, if we improve as much as we have this season based on last season, we will finish top of the league.
Our thanks to Toni!
Photo by 353 Photography
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