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Club News


5 January 2023

Club News


5 January 2023

BURTON Albion defender Charlotte Jarvis says confidence is high in the Brewers camp heading into 2023 - and wants Albion to pick up where they left off at the end of last year, starting with Coventry City on Sunday.

The Brewers headed into the Christmas and New Year break unbeaten in their last four West Midlands Regional Women's Football League games, with a Birmingham County Cup win over Sedgley and Gornal United thrown in for good measure.

Draws against Kidderminster Harriers and Sutton Coldfield Town alongside victories over Solihull Sporting and Crusaders have got the Brewers season going, and some crucial momentum heading into the new year.

Albion have their first game of 2023 this weekend, travelling to the step six Sky Blues in the third round of this season's County Cup - a match that was postponed just prior to Christmas.

And ahead of the Brewers' highly-anticipated return to action, reigning player of the year Jarvis is excited to see what 2023 will bring for the side.

"The girls really wanted to play the cup game before the break," said Jarvis. "We’d prepared really well and had our game plan, so it was frustrating that it was postponed.

"We played Sedgley, who are in their league, in the County Cup a few weeks ago. They were a good footballing side and very physical.

"So we need to go into Sunday with respect for Coventry and hopefully get a result. If we can, it will hopefully help with the busy run of games we’ve got, starting in January. We need to start where we left off - we can take that good run into the second half of the season."

That four-game unbeaten run saw the Brewers put in superb performances against two promotion favourites. League leaders Kidderminster came back from 2-0 down to secure a 3-3 draw, while the Brewers went into Christmas on the back of a 1-1 draw at home to third-placed Sutton Coldfield, with a 90th-minute penalty from captain Amber-Leigh Denny ensuring a deserved share of the spoils.

"I think at the start of the season we had a lot of players missing, we didn't have a full squad for the first four games or so," said Jarvis. "We got a win, a draw and two defeats while missing those key players - for those first four games we couldn't name our starting back four.

"You can see what the last few weeks have done for the team. Look at Hajrah (Mahmood, striker). She is building confidence, getting those goals and a hat-trick in the Cup, and everyone has needed that boost.

"The result against Sutton was big. They were coming to us expecting to win and the fact that we held them to a draw, and got that last-minute equaliser boosted a lot of confidence.

"The game at Kidderminster, too. We went 2-0 up in the first five minutes and were really unlucky not to come away with the win. They’re high up in the league and we proved we were better, football-wise, and we managed to get away from their physicality."

Now past a difficult start to the season, the Brewers sit seventh in the table with 11 points from their first eight games - well clear of the drop zone and nine points from the table-topping Harriers.

Jarvis says there is clearly a lot of quality in the fifth tier - but that the West Midlands Regional League has thrown up much different challenges to those seen in the FAWNL.

"I think the style of football is completely different - it’s a lot more physical," said Jarvis. "In this league, you’ve got to focus on your individual battles.

"After those initial games at the start of the season, we went away and worked on a lot of the physical aspect and aggression in training.

"The other side was mentality, going into games with confidence, we’re know we're talented footballers but that only goes with having the right mentality.

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