Oxford United Women returned to the training ground last night to prepare for their FA Cup tie away at Cardiff City this weekend.
Despite the Women’s National League season being curtailed the action doesn’t stop there for United as the second round of the Women’s FA Cup gets underway on Sunday.
For Liam Gilbert’s side, this means a trip to the CCB Centre for Sporting Excellence in Ystrad Mynach, and the United manager spoke of his delight to be returning to action.
“The atmosphere during last night’s training session was fantastic and it’s something we’ve all missed to say the least.
“Everyone has come back in good condition, both physically and mentally, which is very important. I think everyone is just happy to be back around each other; we’ve seen each other through a computer screen during lockdown and now it’s nice to see everyone in person.
“There’s a lot of factors going into this weekend; a week to get ready for a match after so long without anything as well as a different training schedule to what we normally have, but the group has been brilliant. I have to commend what a fantastic group of players and people that we’ve got.”
Forward Cheryl Williams also shared her excitement to be back in training with the team:
“Training was brilliant. The girls have been missing each other, as it’s not quite the same when you’re doing Zoom calls, so it’s very good to be back.
“We did an 11v11 just to dust our boots off and get a bit of a run in to prepare for Sunday. Team morale seems good; everyone’s buzzing to be back together, and everyone worked really hard in a very good first session back.
“Over lockdown Dean, our fitness coach, has been fantastic with us, sending us weekly fitness plans which set us some targets to work towards. That has been key for all of us and it showed in training last night. Everyone looked sharp, everyone looked good and raring to go again.”
This weekend’s fixture will be played behind closed doors, but we’ll have in-game updates as well as plenty of pre-match content across social media when United return to action.