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We will need to keep our energy high, says Clark

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By Colette Carr

Despite the upcoming few months that will see the 2020/2021 season finally completed certain to be a period of great intensity and contest, Kelly Clark says the players are relishing the challenge, and are just delighted to finally be back on the training pitch.

Clark discussed the mood in the camp following the extended absence after the Christmas break, and explained how crucial it is too hold onto that buzz in order to see out the unique season.

"Everybody's buzzing. I know its just been a couple of months, but it honestly feels a lot longer because we barely got going before the Christmas break and it was all stopped again," she started.

"It's just a total buzz to be back, everyone's been saving up this energy for the last two and a half months. There's been a good atmosphere; training has been fast and sharp which is what everyone wants. When we think back to the last week we had in January before it all got paused, I think deep down everyone knew what was coming so there was maybe a lower atmosphere, but now there's some certainty so there's a total buzz among the girls.

"Its absolutely crucial we keep that energy. There's only a couple of months of games so it's important that everyone looks after themselves because the games are so crammed. Everyone needs to keep that level of energy because every game is a must win so we're going to need it. Any team can hurt us so there's no scope for feeling low," she stressed.

The return of the SWPL1 will bring new challenges to coaching staff and players alike. With 14 games crammed into such a short space of time to ensure all rounds of fixtures are completed, philosophies will be rethought, squad rotation will come into play, and captains will have to take more ownership of their role than ever, something the captain believes she and her leadership group will need to be on top of.

"When things are tough it'll be the leadership group who will need to pick everyone up. With so many games, there will be days where people might be a bit lower and feeling a bit tired, but the group wants success, and when you want that you come with a bit more excitement because you know if you work hard enough you can achieve those goals," she told.

And having brought in January reinforcements, Clark knows the importance squad depth and rotation will have not only on the break-neck speed schedule, but also in keeping everyone on their toes.

She said: "I think squad depth will be massive for everyone in the league I think. We do have a big squad now, with the youngsters who have came in and performed in training and we've made signings to strengthen ourselves. We now have great competition in we've got multiple players in every position now, so if you have an off night there's someone who can take your position.

"With the way this season will be now, it's so important to have that."


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