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Womens Football News Archive - 1st Aug 2003
Marieanne Spacey has won every honour in the game domestically and is the most recognised woman footballer in the country, but next week she embarks on a new challenge when she takes charge of Fulham for the first time in a competitive match when they face Doncaster Rovers Belles in the Community Shield at Mansfield.
"I'm enjoying it!" Marieanne told Women's Soccer Scene. "We've got a friendly on Sunday which I'm very much looking forward to. That is stage one of our preparation, the Shield is stage two - we want to win it but but hopefully we can put on a good performance and that's what I am looking for."
How have things been going since she took over? "Very good, I've had tremendous support from everybody since I took the role, there are lots of things I haven't had experience of on the admin side but it's a learning curve for me. I couldn't wait for pre-season to start and I never, ever said THAT as a player!"
Marieanne also faces the task of replacing Gaute Haugenes, who led a full time professional Fulham side to the 'treble' last season. Now, the players will be semi professionals and will not train daily, so has it been difficult for them to settle? "The players are fine, they have adjusted well and they're very driven for next season. They want to show people that it hasn't affected them - they are still technically very good players and their success was down to the fact that they were good players and not just by being professionals."
So what would Marieanne consider to be a good season? "I don't set targets, it's been shown in the past in both the men's and women's game that if you shout loudly before the start of the season, you're very quiet before the end! All I ask is that the players perform to the best of their ability, understand the roles I'm asking of them and do their best in every game. My personal target is to give 100% to the players and that I ask enough of them without going over the top in what I ask them.
"This will be the hardest year to win anything as there will be seven or eight teams who are vying for honours."
August also sees Fulham play in Europe for the first time when they go to Holland to play their UEFA Women's Cup qualifying group. "It's another part of the adventuer, and another part of my experience and development. The players deserve the opportunity as they worked very hard last season, by no means was it easy. We've got England internationals at all levels and they can all benefit from European club football - we'll all do the best we can."
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