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Women's Football News
Plymouth Argyle look set to continue where they left off last season after a successful pre-season programme and a re-shuffle behind the scenes as they look to embark on another quest to gain promotion to the Premier League.
After their double Cup winning success last season, and their second successive runners-up finish in the South West Combination, the Pilgrims have not rested on their laurels and have been working hard to put the systems in place to create a winning environment.
Perhaps the most significant news was last season's manager Ryan Thomas relinquishing his position in order to move into a new Director of Football role at the club as part of a re-structure of the coaching team. Thomas will now have a wider remit at the club which will involve advice and assistance to coaches and players in both the first and reserve teams, player recruitment and development, and aiding the marketing and promotion of the club. The result of which sees former assistant manager Kev Rose step into the managerial hot seat with one brief - delivering the South West Combination Championship and the one promotion place to the Premier League.
Rose has wasted no time in assembling his backroom team which includes Clive Roberts, Chris Benham and local football legend Pete Distin. The reserve team will once again be led by Tom Legg and Andy Hughes, with Mike Charlick coming on board as the club's new Fitness and Conditioning Coach. Rose commented: "I am delighted to take over the reins and feel that it is a good move for me at this stage of my development. I know a lot of the girls from my time here as reserve team manager and more recently as first team assistant manager so feel that I know what it takes to mould a successful team in women's football.
"What we have now is very much a coaching team, with many individuals with specific areas of expertise, and we are all very confident that this will create a winning mentality amongst the players. We did well last season but we have to gain promotion this time in order to retain the services of our best players and get this club where we feel it deserves to be. We will be doing everything we can to achieve our aim and we're looking forward to getting started."
Work for the ambitious Pilgrims started way back in the first week of July where a gruelling seven week pre-season training programme was initiated. In addition to structured but physically demanding sessions, the club have enjoyed some notable pre-season results against higher ranked opponents. An encouraging 3-1 loss to Premier Division side Bristol Academy was followed by a good 2-1 away win against Southern Division side, and bitter local rivals, Truro City (formerly Newquay).
After a turbulent 2007-08 campaign, the reserve team themselves have been showing some encouraging signs of progress and look set to enjoy a far more successful year. Before a useful workout against the first team squad, impressive performances enabled them to defeat both Truro City reserves and Dawlish Town, with many of the club's new crop of graduates from the Centre of Excellence drawing particular praise.
After coming so close last season it seems that everything is geared towards achieving success in another tough campaign this season.
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