I cannot wait to step out at Priestfield, says Emma Tune
The club will be playing their home games at Gillingham this season and are now managed by Simon Ratcliffe, who made 124 appearances for the Gills between 1995 and 1998.
However, the side will be in a period of transition following the departure of James Marrs, who left to join league rivals Brighton & Hove Albion, taking a number of last season’s highly-rated squad with him.
Gillingham finished runners-up to Coventry City in The FA Women’s Premier League South, won the Kent Women’s Cup and Ryman Women’s Cup and reached the FA Women’s Cup Fifth Round where they went down to a 2-0 defeat to eventual winners Arsenal.
“There really have been massive changes at the club,” Tune told the club’s website.
“The link between us and the men’s team is great and hopefully the start of good things to come.
“Obviously Crouchy (Marrs) and a lot of the first team players going to Brighton did impact on our original preparation.
“He is a great coach and I learnt a lot from him. I would just like to wish him all the best down at Brighton and the same with the girls.
“Pre-season has been good, it took me a while to settle for reasons but I have really enjoyed the past couple of weeks. People are starting to relax and we are beginning to build up our understanding of each other which is good.”
The new preparation between the Ladies side and the men’s side is something Tune and her team-mates have had to adjust to, as the transition sees a new regime and approach to Ladies football at the Kent club.
“It has taken some getting used to but Darren (Hare) and now Simon are doing a really good job,” said Tune.
“They both know their stuff and have put on some really good sessions for us over the past few weeks.
“I like that Simon wants us to get the ball down and play and I’m positive we can get his ideas out on the pitch.
“The link we now have with the men’s club is great for us and means we have been able to enjoy more of what the men do.
“We recently had a really good but tough gym session with Darren at Priestfield including the steps (of the Rainham End) and afterwards we were able to make full use of the ice baths and pool which would never have happened before.”
Gillingham Ladies kick-off their campaign away to Tottenham Hotspur on 24 August and a week later sees the first game of the season at Priestfield when Ebbsfleet United visit in the League Cup First Round on Sunday 31 August (2pm).
Tune added: “I’m really excited to get the season started, that’s what it’s all about.”
“Hopefully we can give a good account for ourselves and pick up a result against Spurs.
“Yes, I cannot wait to step out at Priestfield, the pitch look amazing. It will be good to play on the same pitch as the men do.
“It will be nice if we can get a bit more support down to Priestfield to cheer the girls on as well.”
Visit Gillingham Ladies website: http://glfc2013.wordpress.com