Arrivals and departures for Spurs Ladies
Fri 27 July 2018, 21:27|Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs Ladies' squad continues to take shape ahead of the new season with a handful of new additions and departures, while several players have put pen to paper on new deals with the club.
Following a successful 2017/18 campaign on loan from Birmingham City Ladies, creative midfielder Coral-Jade Haines has made the permanent switch to Spurs ahead of the 2018/19 season in the revamped FA Women's Championship.
Joining her as new arrivals in Karen Hills' squad are forward Jess Naz and goalkeeper Emma Gibbon, who both arrive from Arsenal's development team.
"Jess is an up-and-coming player who is working with England Under-19s at the moment, despite still being only 17," explained manager Karen. "She represents a massive signing for us and we're excited to work with her. She has fantastic potential, she's down to earth and she's willing to work hard for her place.
"We're also very excited to welcome Emma, who has played for Wales Under-19s and will strengthen our goalkeeping department.
"Of course, we know all about Coral-Jade from last season. She came in from Birmingham and fitted in well with us, so we're glad to have her back on a permanent basis now."
The trio arrive following the signings of striker Rianna Dean, winger Megan Wynne and defender Anne Meiwald earlier this summer.
In further good news, Bianca Baptiste, Josie Green, Renee Hector, Lucia Leon, Wendy Martin, Sophie Mclean, Chloe Morgan, Ashleigh Neville, Maya Vio, Ryah Vyse and Sarah Wiltshire have all signed new contracts and are working hard in preparation for the new season.
Meanwhile, Hannah MacKenzie, Katie O’Leary, Lauren Pickett, Eartha Pond and Shannon Moloney have left the club.
"Shannon and Katie have been with us for seven and five years respectively so they've seen a lot during their time with us," said Karen. "All five girls have made contributions to our cause and we'd like to thank them for their dedication, commitment and hard work. We wish them all the very best for the future."
Spurs Ladies kicked-off their pre-season campaign with a 5-3 win at London Bees on Sunday 15 July, Dean (2), Leon, Wiltshire and Rea Laudat on target. The following Sunday, a trialist equalised for us at Birmingham City Ladies, but a late goal gave the hosts a 2-1 win.
Then came the biggest test yet on Wednesday (25 July) - a trip to Ware to face north London rivals Arsenal in what turned out to be a 10-goal thriller, writes Daniel Adams.
Joe Montemurro’s star-studded side, who eventually ran out 6-4 winners, had more of the ball in the early stages, as both teams looked for incisive passes in behind each other’s high defensive lines. This eventually paid off for Arsenal after 10 minutes as they took the lead through Netherlands star Vivianne Miedema, who doubled their advantage six minutes later, moments after goalkeeper Morgan had made a brilliant one-v-one save.
Spurs then started to get on the ball more and Wynne’s industrious running allowed the Lilywhites to dominate the right flank. The Wales international was the source of Spurs’ first goal when she chased what seemed a lost cause and managed to get a toe to the ball to poke home.
Morgan’s reflex save and the post were then to deny Arsenal a third goal, which eventually came after sustained pressure on the half-hour mark. But then Tottenham produced the move of the match as Wiltshire's vision sent Wynne down the right, who crossed magnificently for Dean to head inside the far post and reduce the deficit to 3-2.
Spurs equalised two minutes later as Leon drifted in from the left-back position to smash home a loose ball, giving her team deserved parity at the break.
One of manager Hills’ six half-time substitutes, Martin, had the first clear-cut chance of the second half, but saw her shot from 18 yards superbly saved. Arsenal then regained the lead before Baptiste equalised again, finishing from a tight angle inside the Gunners’ box.
As we reached the closing stages Spurs pushed forward looking for a winner, but were hit against the run of play as Arsenal won possession high up the pitch to take the lead, and then put the result beyond doubt at 6-4 just before the final whistle.
Spurs Ladies' next pre-season friendly takes place on Sunday 5 August at Cheshunt FC, with Reading Women the visitors for a 2pm kick-off. They then visit Chichester City Ladies on Sunday 12 August.