Arsenal continue their preparation for the new season with a friendly against Doncaster Belles on Sudnay afternoon.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the fixture.
Doncaster Belles were very close to promotion to WSL 1 last season and promotion went to the wire with Sunderland clinching it on the final day, finishing two points ahead of the Belles.
They had a manager change during the winter, with Gordon Staniforth leaving and being replaced by former Lincoln Ladies manager Glenn Harris. They also lost two players to WSL 1 teams (Bright and Sigsworth) and signed some experienced ex-WSL 1 players in Jody Handley, Danielle Hill and Sophie Barker plus an up-and-coming talent with high potential Emily Roberts (on loan).
Their sole competitive game this season came in the FA Women’s Cup when the defeated fellow FA WSL 2 side London Bees 3-0 with goals from Bethany England, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Sue Smith.
This is the second official friendly for the Arsenal Ladies.
The first game yielded a 1-1 draw at WSL 2 side Aston Villa with England U17 forward Chloe Kelly scoring on her debut for the Gunners.
A young squad was used with England and Scotland players on international duty.
There will be a question mark over the five England players participation as they face the USA on Friday evening and you would expect those with decent game time not to play another game two days later so it might possibly be another mixed squad with senior players and promising youngsters.
Who would you have?
With Arsenal short of wide players she would be a very useful addition to our squad.
A young winger with potential to beat players, she is the kind of direct player that is currently missing at Arsenal.
Opposition key players
One of the most well known player in England and also a friendly person. A very experienced and tricky winger.
Another seasoned player, playing in goal with tons of experience.
An England U19 full back with great potential
The Belles played the following starting 11 in their cup game in a 4-3-3 formation:
Hobbs, Cresswell, Roberts, Little, Cunningham, Lipka, England, Barker, Smith, Sweetma,n Kirk, Knight,
As it is a friendly, both managers could rotate their squad and try new things.
Predicted Arsenal line-up
Byrne, Williamson, Sampson, Rose, Mitchell, Baile,y Weir, Humphrey, Carter, Sanchon, Yankey.
Playing both sides
There have been many players who played for both side but the two players that spring to mind are:
A centre forward from New Zeland with 44 goals in 93 games for her national team. She played for the Arsenal in the early 2000’s and then moved to Doncaster. The other player is
aka Trev or Tori is a former Arsenal Academy defender and one of the numerous players from the ’91-’92 generation from the academy that ended up playing in the FA WSL.
She is an England U23 international and also played at Chelsea Ladies.
Arsenal 3 Doncaster 1 (01/09/13)
Doncaster 0 Arsenal 6 (21/08/13)
Arsenal 3 Doncaster 2 ( 30/09/12)
Doncaster 0 Arsenal 4 ( 25/08/12)
Arsenal 3 Doncaster 0 (14/08/11)
Five wins in the last five games for Arsenal with 19 goals for and only three against.
There was no game between the sides last season as Doncaster were demoted to WSL 2 at the beginning of the 2013 season for the 2014 season.
You would expect an Arsenal win.
Arsenal Ladies v Doncaster Rover Belles – Friendly
Sunday 15th February
At Hertfordshire Sports Village, de Havilland Campus, Hatfield Business Park, Hatfield, AL10 9EU
Due to restrictions at the new venue we will only be admitting a maximum of 200 people (on a first come, first served basis) to come and watch this friendly. Gates will open at 1.00pm
It is shame as people might be left at the door with only 200 tickets available. As a regular at Herts Uni for the U17, Development squad and Herts Uni games, there is no way they could host more than those 200 and guarantee good viewing conditions.
As I don’t want to queue in the cold and be refused entry in the end if I am not in the first 200 fans, I will go and support our development team away to London Bees with the game played at the Barnet FC’s the Hive kick off at 2pm.