Stoke women’s boss looks ahead to football’s return

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Stoke City women’s manager Alena Moulton is looking forward to her team returning to action when the current enforced break for the Northern Premier Division comes to an end.

There was a restructuring of the club during the summer, which saw Moulton promoted to first team manager having previously assisted Chloe Jones who moved into a technical role.

The division does not class as elite sport and, due to national lockdown rules, there has been a four-week suspension in place for all non-professional sport.  

But, despite the enforced break, the Stoke boss has, personally, remained upbeat.

She said: “Unfortunately, the league we are in isn’t classed as elite sport. So, we’ve had to stop and can’t return until the lockdown is eased. For me personally, I’ve been at work and have a dog. So, I’ve been able to keep myself busy. 

“I think the women’s game has had a second thought, but we are used to it. There’s more things in the game that take priority, we get that, things will change, however it’s all about time.”

Before the break, Stoke had started their recovery from a slow start to the campaign – with three wins out of seven games – and the manager is relishing a packed schedule when the sport resumes.

The current break is all the more frustrating as, last season, the club was hit hard when Covid-19 denied them the opportunity to lift a trophy after Jones successfully guided the team to the final of the Women’s National League Cup only for the game to be cancelled.

She said: “We haven’t struggled just yet (on fixture congestion) but can see the games coming thick and fast when we return. There’s a lot of catching up to do, so it’s important that the girls come back really fit and sharp. Ready for a high intensity 90-minute game. 

“Running up to lockdown we actually hit some form, we didn’t have the best of starts and didn’t meet our high expectations. Although, we quickly found out the problems and found solutions which led to better performances and results.”

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