FOOTBALL: Coleraine Ladies are raring to go!

COLERAINE Ladies are back in training in preparation for the forthcoming season.

Alison Nicholl’s side are hoping to build on their fifth place league finish last year, and the player manager is eager for her young team to progress.

“We have tried to keep the girls together all through the winter months just for five-a-sides, and I think that this has helped keep the group together.

“They all have experience playing in the Championship now, and I know that this year they are all keen to do well.”

Alison believes that the mixture of youth and experience in the side works well, but she is keen to attract new players to build on her small squad ahead of the new season, which kicks off in April.

“Ideally what we need is a junior girls team to feed into the ladies side. I know there are plenty of girls out there who enjoy football, and I would appeal for them to come along to training,” said Alison.

The former Northern Ireland international has dreams of getting promoted into the Ladies Premier league:

“The Championship is a great league.

“The girls have become better technically by playing in this league, and you can see the progress that the younger girls are making. But, in the future I would like to get promoted. There is no doubt that we have the talent in the team for this, even though they are still young.”

Of course a number of girls in the side gained representative honours last year - goalkeeper Alice Harkness, striker Lauren Wade and midfielder Lyndsay Whiteside all pulled on a green and white Northern Ireland jersey last year, and Alison hopes that a few more will follow this year.

“We have a great bunch of girls, and it is pleasing to see them progressing through the Northern Ireland set up, I have no doubt that others will follow Lauren, Alice and Lyndsay, “ said Alison.

The team trains on a Monday night from 7.30 to 9 on the UUC grass pitch and on Thursday in the UUC Sports Centre for five-a-sides, anyone interested should contact Alison through Coleraine Football Club, or come along to training. Girls must be at least 14 years old to play in the Championship League.