Harleston Magpies Ladies manager John Adams confident side can survive in Super 6s Championships’ Premier Division
Harleston Magpies Ladies manager John Adams is ‘very confident’ that his side can survive in the Super 6s Championships’ Premier Division as they prepare to kick-start their indoor campaign on Saturday.
The Magpies were promoted to the Premier Division after they topped Division One last year, which booked their place in the top league for the first time since 2015.
“I think we will give everyone a good game. I’m very confident that we can survive, which is the main target this year, to consolidate and keep our place in the league. Anything above that will be a bonus,” said Adams.
“Although, that’s pretty much what I said this time last year and with every game we seemed to get better and better.
“Even going into the second weekend, all options were still on the table. We were up there but it was a very tight league and we could have still got relegated in theory.
“We got off to a flying start in the first game and it just snowballed from there.
“You’ve got to have a little bit of luck but momentum and confidence are all great things.
“We’re pretty confident. I think we’ve done a lot of training, I think we’ve got a very good side, I think we’re better than we were last year so I’m very positive that we’ll do alright.”
Having kept the majority of the side that won promotion last year, which includes a mix of youth and experience with six players under-18, the Magpies are further boosted by the appointment of former Pakistan international Adnan Zakir as head coach alongside Andy Halliday.
“I think it took the squad a little while to get used to how he did things and indeed for him to get to know the players and what they are capable of. But confidence is growing,” said Adams.
“We’ve had a lot of knowledge with him and preparations for the tournament have been really good.”
Some of the key cogs from last year’s promotion-winning squad that the Magpies have kept hold of include Anna Cogdell, who was the second-top scorer in Division One last year with 18 goals, and Lauren Barber, who Adams labelled as ‘one of the best indoor defenders there is’.
As for their outdoor campaign, the Magpies have been unlucky not to collect points in some of their matches and find themselves bottom of the Vitality Women's Division 1 South, but Adams remains confident that his side can park their ‘tough’ start to the season to one side ahead of their indoor campaign.
The Harleston team manager admitted that with a step up in level will only come with an increase in quality of opponent, and he is expecting that the standard of opposition is going to be ‘considerably higher than it was last year’.
The Magpies will face Repton (12.30pm) and Bowdon (4.30pm) on Saturday before concluding this weekend’s action against Buckingham (9.00am) and East Grinstead (2.00pm) on Sunday.
They will then take on Slough (2.30pm) and Leicester (6.30pm) on January 13 before facing Surbiton (10.00am) and Guildford (4.00pm) on January 14.