MK Dons Ladies FC got their preseason fixture programme off to a great start thanks to a first half screamer from new signing Leah Cudone. MK Dons FC Ladies travelled to Radcliffe Olympic, a team from the Midlands equivalent the Combination League and earnt themselves a confidence boosting 1-0 win. After a grueling pre season programme that saw the ladies back in training from the end of June, MK Dons were keen to give minutes to a number of new signings with varying levels of experience and a number of exciting youth prospects progressing through to the first team from last years FA Licensed Centre of Excellence.
Young striker Leah Cudone was one of a number of players making their Dons debut, but after an accomplished first half performance and an impressive strike from Distance, Cudone bagged the Dons first goal of the season and topped off a solid all round performance despite her lack of 1st team experience. Numerous trialists also looked to make their mark on the game and although outplayed at times, by a strong side from the Midlands Combination league, the early goal proved to be decisive and the new look squad battled to maintain their lead throughout, despite the frequent changes by Dons coaching staff.
1st team manager John Dyer, also taking charge of his first game for MK Dons FC Ladies commented “The team battled today, the performance needs to be polished but we have the foundations here amongst the players of a great squad. We wanted to give all players plenty of opportunity to play and this gave a slightly unrealistic edge to the game, but it resulted in a hard working and pleasing performance. We know we have more work to do, but a number of players impressed today, with still 10 players to return from holidays and injury it is already looking very competitive for places in that starting 11 for the league opener on August 19th!”
Coach Leon Metcalfe also added “The players still to return include a number of experienced heads, but today the girls dug deep and we were impressed with just how hard the younger players worked. Bryony Levitt impressed today, she has come up through the C of Ex and is another sign that the Centre of Excellence system can help to produce a number of talented individuals and the link with the Centre and the Ladies team this season and beyond will hopefully continue to flourish and produce more future stars.”
One of the many players still to return is last season’s young player of the season Lil Stanton, she returns to the squad at the weekend knowing that she has been invited in to an England WU19 Talent Identification Training Camp from Tues 21s August. (Full report to follow.)