First Pre-season game for City Ladies Coventry City Ladies are to host giants Arsenal Ladies in a pre-season friendly at the Bedworth Oval later this month. The match, which takes place on the 21 July, will be a fantastic opportunity for the Sky Blues to test their strengths against the current FA Women’s Super League champions. In line with the FA’s league restructure, this will be Coventry’s first pre-season fixture in preparation for their upcoming season in the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division. It will be a glamour tie for the Sky Blues, playing host to an Arsenal team that have cemented their status as the most successful club in women’s football in England. They have clocked up 12 FA Women’s Premier League titles, 12 FA Women’s Cups and one UEFA Women’s Champions League title since their establishment in 1987. The Sky Blues themselves are not unfamiliar to success, having clinched their second consecutive Birmingham FA County Cup last season, as well as sealing their highest-ever league finish by finishing fifth in the FA Women's Premier League National Division. They are in a period of transition however, having appointed former Bristol Academy coach Craig Nicholls as manager two weeks ago, who instantly stated his "excitement and motivation" on taking on the role. He has taken over from Chris Holloway who left after seven months as manager, citing work and family commitments as his reasons for leaving the role. The Gunners currently have a host of international stars on their books, including Kelly Smith, Steph Houghton and Rachel Yankey, who recently became the most capped player to ever play for England, ahead of legendary goalkeeper Peter Shilton. Highly-rated Arsenal midfielder Bianca Bragg also had a short loan spell with Coventry during the early part of last season. The FA Women’s Super League is currently on hiatus until 4 August, with the 2013 UEFA Women's Championship set to kick off in Sweden this week. Alex Scott, Ellen White and Jordan Nobbs – alongside Smith, Houghton and Yankey – make up the six Arsenal players that have been named in the England squad for the tournament, meaning they will miss out on this tie, but the Gunners are expected to bring a strong squad to the Midlands nonetheless. The match takes place at the Bedworth Oval on Sunday 21 July, kicking off at 2pm. Tickets will cost £3.
Source: Coventry MAD