Onto the penultimate of The Sportist’s team previews for the 2013 FA WSL season, today focussing on Lincoln Ladies FC.
Lincoln Ladies FC
Manager – Rick Passmoor
Appointed following the sacking of Glen Harris in October, Rick Passmoor brings an outstanding management track record to Lincoln Ladies. Having worked in various guises within the Leeds United hierarchy, Passmoor’s last managerial experience in the women’s game came with Leeds United Ladies where he was responsible for the development of current England regulars Ellen White and Steph Houghton. With recent experience in charge of the Academy and U18 men’s teams for Leeds, Passmoor’s will aim to set Lincoln Ladies on the same upward trajectory he enacted at Leeds.
Last Time Out – 5th
A fifth placed finish was deemed an unacceptable return for a club featuring a significant degree of international talent, ultimately leading to Glen Harris’ end of season departure. Back-to-back victories at the tail end of last season saved the team from the ignominy of finishing 2nd bottom, but there’s no doubt whatsoever that the 2012 season was a distinct underachievement.
In a side with a genuine wealth of international talent, England captain Casey Stoney stands out as the clear ace in the pack. A classy defender with outstanding defensive composure, Stoney has been a leading light of the women’s game for well over a decade and one of its most vocal and articulate champions. Despite her relatively diminutive stature (for a central defender, at least), Stoney is an excellent aerial presence and offers a greater threat from set pieces than her single goal in Lincoln colours would suggest.
To a large extent, the team’s inability to make Ashby Avenue a fortress undermined their relatively impressive away record, registering only 2 victories on home turf. With a move to Sincil Bank for the 2013 season, Lincoln will hope that a new home will bring new fortunes.
Away vs. Bristol Academy, 23.03.13 (Continental Cup)
With a new leadership in place and some significant strengthening of the playing squad, not least through the signing of England ‘keeper Karen Bardsley, Lincoln Ladies would naturally seem to be in a better position going into the new season. With previous campaigns undermined by a creeping sense of underachievement, though, we still believe this is going to be a tough season for Lincoln Ladies. With other teams around them having strengthened significantly in the close season, if Passmoor’s new charges don’t get off to a good start, they could find themselves mired in trouble during the season’s latter stages.