Harleston Magpies Ladies started preparations for the upcoming East Conference National League campaign by featuring in a pre-season tournament at the University of Birmingham last weekend.
With several key squad members suffering from injuries, it opened up the opportunity for some younger players to step in and gain some vital experience against National League sides.
In the first encounter of the competition against Sutton Coldfield, Mia King and Olivia Locke worked tirelessly on their senior debuts as the Magpies battled hard to claim a 0-0 draw.
After that not all of the results went Magpies way, with a 3-0 loss to East Grinstead followed by a 5-0 loss at the hands of Isca.
However, new coach Rob Sorrell was able to use the weekend to try out new tactical positional play and system variations, which soon identified areas for improvement.
Despite the losses the Magpies appeared determined to put the weekend’s learning into practice for their last game against Reading.
Reading set a very quick pace with a lot of attacking play, but with a solid defensive performance from Holly Riches, Bryony Lund and Katherine Ridley, the Magpies kept a clean sheet to record their second goalless draw of the event,
Squad: Lucy Belsey (C), Louisa Greenacre, Debbie Francis, Bryony Lund, Katherine Ridley, Lauren Mickleburgh, Olivia Locke, Tor Findlay, Anna Tighe, Mia King, Kara Kilbourn, Maria Andrews, Lizzie Clymer, Jade Daly, Holly Riches and Lucy Whiting
n The Magpies Ladies will continue their build up to the new season tomorrow when they entertain Ipswich (12pm).
After those four outings in Birmingham, coach Sorrell has opted to reduce the size of the squad.
Abby Gooderham, Molly Redgrove, Charlotte Harrison and Hannah de Selincourt have all been included after missing out in Birmingham.
The Ladies are due to begin the new term away to West Herts on Saturday, September 17.
n The Magpies have opened up their door to men, women, boys and girls of all ages and abilities that are interested in playing for the club.
Those that are interested in finding out more information should contact the club through their website: www.magpies-hockey.co.uk