Town have signed their first player of 2020 with Danielle Brighton agreeing to join Dale Houlston's side.
Dani returns to the UK from the USA after spending eight and a half years playing in the college soccer leagues whilst studying a degree in law and criminology. We spoke to the new recruit following her registration, which is set to be complete upon receiving international clearance.
"It's great to be home and I am delighted to be playing for my local club, which has lots of exciting possibilities ahead", said Brighton. "The game in the States focuses much on creative flair and creating a set style of attack and building on that. My first session back really felt great, to work on being able to open the play and switch the point of attack. It has been a while since I've trained in a team setting opposed to a coaching setting which was fun!"
"Apart from a lack of fitness, I felt I was able to hold my own in creating attacks that lead to goals, which is something I love doing. I'm looking forward to getting my international clearance as soon as possible. As a player, I prefer to play anything with an attacking role, but I am a centre midfielder by heart. I love being able to get box to box and involved in all the action".
Grimsby Town's women's team returns to action this week following the festive break in the women's football calendar, with a home fixture against Louth. We spoke to manager Dale Houlston about his plans for the game and the future.
Are we looking fit and raring to go after the Christmas break Dale?
"We are looking okay and after a long Christmas break, I am looking forward to getting going again. I want us to start 2020 as strong as we finished 2019. The club has made a great start hasn't it in its venture into women's football, but it is important now that we go and finish the job off between now and the end of the season and meet our target of winning promotion to Tier 6 of the pyramid at the first time of asking".
Do you have any injuries?
"No injuries no, but we are going to be without a couple of key players as there are people still away until next week. Ellie Wilson is unavailable and we know how important her goals have been to us, and Becky Taylor is also away and Becky has become a really important cog in our engine, hasn't she. But I think we still have plenty of quality in this group, so I am sure that I can trust whoever it is that comes in to replace them. The plus side to that is that a couple of players are going to get the chance now to stake a claim on a starting place moving forward".
How are plans going to bring in any additions to the squad?
"If you look at the results so far this season and where we are in the league and cup competitions, then we are under no real pressure to bring additional players in. We built a squad from scratch last summer, a squad that I was confident could achieve our objectives this season, and so far we are on target to do that. But we are never averse to strengthening the group, and of course, we must have one eye on next season too, as the challenges we face are going to get tougher. We have discussed possibilities with one player but there isn't any movement on that one yet. We have also served a seven-day notice of approach for another player too, and I will be having a chat with her once the seven days have passed".
What are your plans for the team in 2020?
"Well, first and foremost it is important that we finish the job off this season and win promotion. That is our number one priority. Things are looking good for us on that front at the minute, but we don't want any embarrassing hiccups that can spoil that. That said, the FA have actually already forwarded us forms to apply for promotion to the next tier of the pyramid so I hope that isn't going to jinx us at all. But I guess that is them just being amazingly efficient and making sure that clubs know what they have to do from an administration point of view if they look like promotion prospects.
"So our major plan is of course to make that next step up which will be a great achievement considering this is our first-ever venture into women's football. Secondary to this is the two Cup competitions that we are still in, the League Cup and the County Cup. The County Cup will probably present us with our biggest challenge yet. We play the quarter-final on 19th January away at Grantham Town. It would be great to get through to the semi-final wouldn't it".
Supporters are welcome to watch the women's team this Sunday. It is a 2pm kick-off at Oasis Academy Wintringham