Picture credit: LinfieldFC.com


Linfield Ladies skipper Sarah Venney has hailed the influence of new boss Phil Lewis as she looks forward to tonight's NIFL Women's Premiership League Cup semi-final clash with Glentoran at Ashfield Boys School (kick-off 8pm).

The centre midfielder said: "It's still early on in the season, we've got off to a good start with only one defeat in the league against Crusaders.

"Crusaders are a very strong side this season and across the board the level of competition is very high, there'll be a lot of teams that will drop points along the way in a longer season."

It's been all go at Linfield since January when Phil Lewis took control at the club and brought the players back in for pre season.

"We've been working with Phil since January time, he's been in on a full time basis, three times a week, he's basically committed full time to the club. He's an A Licence coach, has a wealth of experience from the men's league having managed at Carrick Rangers and PSNI.

"From the players side we are delighted to work with someone so dedicated, and his training is high intensity and I truly feel its give us a more professional set up at Linfield."

The 32-year-old midfielder commented on a quiet pre-season in terms of signings and retaining the bulk of last years title winning squad, "Signing wise we had a great squad in place already, and we managed to retain a lot of our players which speaks volumes for the set up at Linfield.

"We feel that keeping the squad allows us to carry on from last season and we are not starting from square one again and we feel settled."

Looking ahead to the semi-final clash Venney said, "Glentoran are an extremely strong side this year, they have strengthened their squad and have brought back players who where abroad.

"They have a strong and experienced squad, a squad that has a good age range in it. In my view they are one of the strong favourites for the league and cup competitions this year.

"Looking back to when we last played them it was a very close encounter, it could have gone either way, we were very lucky to get over the line and win 4-3 but we know Glentoran are very fit and physical and are a technical side and have great coaches.

"One of the best coaches in the country Gail Macklin is with the club and they have great leadership and are set up well and we know they bring a competitive game and we'll have to play well to compete."

Tags:  Linfield Ladies