The long awaited return to competitive football for our women's team gets underway on Sunday, when the visitors are Notts County Development in the first fixture of the East Midlands Women's Regional Football League campaign. This game is taking place on the GTFC Academy pitch at GTFC Oasis Academy on Weelsby Road, and kick off is at 2pm.
The Mariners will be looking for a positive start to the season, and manager Dale Houlston gave us his early thoughts ahead of the game.
He told us, "The time has finally arrived for the girls' to take to the pitch in a competitive game, and it's been a long time coming after last season ended early because of the pandemic. So it will be great for the players and everyone involved to get going again.
"In terms of player selection, we've got a bit of work to do in the next couple of days to finalise that. One of our goalkeepers is definitely ruled out because of illness, and we will also have to assess the fitness of Libbi Wright ahead of the game who picked up a knock in training. We aren't quite sure where things are with Alisha Dejonge at the moment as she is still coming back from a bad injury, so we won't be rushing her too soon.
"We need to monitor that one carefully. The game will be an opportunity for three of our new young players to make their debuts in senior football, and they have rightly earned the opportunity to play a part on Sunday. They have done well in pre-season, and they came through those games impressively, and they will have learned a lot about what it's like to play in senior games as opposed to the development football they have been involved with. But they will also know that there isn't going to be any free rides for them either. It's about taking your chances in the team when the opportunity presents itself, and the whole squad know that".