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We talk to...Polly Wardle (Brislington)
 Women's Football WNL Division 1 South West News - 25 Jan 2019
WNL Division 1 South West News - We talk to...Polly Wardle (Brislington) - 25 Jan 2019 - Women's Football NewsBrislington went through to the semi finals of the Somerset Senior Cup on Sunday by winning a penalty shootout against Ilminster Town, with all 22 players on the pitch at the time having to take a kick.
We talked to Brislington winger Polly Wardle who, whilst not directly involved in the shootout herself, admitted at being relieved when the winning kick went in and praised her team's spirit, not only on Sunday but for a good run in the league before Christmas:
WSS: Polly, your game on Sunday certainly did not lack drama, what was your main emotion after the game?
PW: I think we were all just happy to be in the draw for the next round! We know the performance wasn't good enough. We didn't come out in the second half, and they deserved to take us to penalties. It was a pretty nerve racking penalty shoot out, but we were all relieved to have made it into the semi final draw.
WSS: After you started the game so well, can you put your finger on what went on from there?
PW: We just took our foot off the pedal in the second half. Or probably more so the fact we couldn't find the pedal! We stopped playing forward into our strikers. No excuses, but the pitch was horrendous and it made it hard to play football, tired legs after a lovely Christmas break, I think it was a mixture of a lot of factors! We know we need to be on a different level when playing in the league.
WSS: Have you ever been involved in a penalty shootout like that before, with so many penalties being taken?
PW: No I haven't. I had been subbed off by then, so being honest it was quite nice to watch with no pressure from the sideline! I've never seen a penalty shootout go through the whole team with all 11 players taking one. Like I said, it was great for the spectators!
WSS: No doubt it was a moment of great relief when you had finally won?
PW: Of course. Their keeper was decent too. She had a big presence in goal and had a great 90 minutes before hand, so I was actually slightly worried going into the shootout being completely honest. Both keepers made good saves during the shootout to be fair, but yes, big relief to see [Abbie] Kirby score the winner!!
WSS: This week you are left without a game again because of County Cup postponements but will face Maidenhead next week, presumably the players will be looking forward to that one?
PW: Indeed. They aren't going too well in the league so they will come out with a point to prove against us. It's a good game for us to get back up to speed of the league, hopefully we can get another three points and keep the ball rolling in the league, we're on quite good form at the moment!
WSS: Looking at the bigger picture, the team was in good form before Christmas despite being without a number of key players such as Kim Maggs and Paige Sawyer through injury. Is that a tribute to the good team spirit you have at the club?
PW: Absolutely, we've got a great team spirit among us. Absences have allowed other players to step up and we've been playing really well as a team, scoring a lot of goals and getting some good points on the board climbing the league table. Both players are now back in training, so it's good to have them back in the squad. We've got a big squad now, with good strength and depth, a lot of players fighting for positions, it's a headache for the gaffer but a good position to be in as a club.
WSS: So what will be the main aims for Brislington for the rest of the season?
PW: I think you should ask the gaffer that! We've got some hard games coming up against Keynsham and Southampton Women's. For me it's about picking up points in the games we know we should. In this league that easier said then done as the teams are very competitive and anyone can beat anyone on their day. Fourth or fifth would be a great season for us. I think we could pick up another 12 points in the league, so we should be pushing for a 30 points finish which should see us in fourth or fifth.
Our thanks to Polly!

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