‘Exciting football’ may not quite be the ‘sexy football’ made famous by former Dutch international Ruud Gullit in the 1990s, but Manchester City Ladies are set to thrill on their debut FA Women’s Super League (WSL) season.
The Blues Women are raring to go as the kick-off to the FA WSL fast approaches after achieving an unbeaten record in pre-season.
The City females look like real title contenders after securing three convincing wins and a draw, and head coach Nick Cushing is confident supporters will enjoy the style of play instilled into the new-look side.
“Manchester City as a club has a methodology and philosophy of playing exciting football, whether that be at the under 9s, 10s or the men’s first team or the women’s,” he explained to MM.
“It runs through the whole club. We want to play exciting football that people want to come and watch and keep coming back to watch.”
The female stars comfortably beat Celtic 3-0, drew away to Glasgow City and then destroyed Durham Women 7-0, before finishing their pre-season with a 2-0 home win against Aston Villa.
England striker Toni Duggan, who joined from Everton in the autumn, has been the stand out player after hitting a hat-trick against Durham and scoring again in the victory over Villa.
Cushing is joined by Leigh Wood who will continue his long-standing involvement with the women’s team as head coach, and the pair will be assisted by coach Kevin Sims and goalkeeping coach Kurt de Klerk.
The Sky Blues will mirror and benefit from its association with its male equivalent – from community programmes, to youth development, scouting, coaching, sports science, digital coverage and first team football operations.
MCWFC has had a squad overhaul in preseason including the signings of experienced England internationals – Duggan, Steph Houghton, goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Jill Scott.
Cushing said: “The experience that they have had at international level has given them the mentality and the mind-set that we want at the club. We are working as a new team here so that experience is going to help us.
“We are happy with the squad that we have got but it will be a continuously process throughout this season, next season and the seasons after that.
“We will always review our squad looking at other players and other teams but we are more than happy with the squad that we have got now.”
However, despite high expectations of MCWFC ahead of the WSL 2014, Cushing stressed the club is in the very early stages of building a project with the focus on long term success.
“We want to play a major role in the WSL and a major role in women’s football but we are taking one step at a time at the minute. It’s a new adventure for us but our aim is to be competitive,” he said.
“We are a new team at WSL level and so I think at the moment our first aim is to try and build a team and that includes building the right environment and culture into the squad.”
Manchester’s home ground this season will be the Manchester Regional Arena, next to the Etihad.
And the newly-rebranded MCWFC will join Arsenal Ladies, Birmingham City Ladies, Bristol Academy WFC, Chelsea Ladies, Everton Ladies, Notts County Ladies and Liverpool Ladies in the first tier of the newly-formed league.
The City Women are away to Reading FC Women in the FA Women’s Cup on April 13 and kick off their FA WSL campaign away to reigning champions Liverpool Ladies FC just four days later.
Main image courtesy of Manchester City PR, with thanks.