Otterettes boss speaks about the derby win and looks ahead to Sunday’s game


- Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary ladies made it four wins from as many starts this season with a superb Friday night 5-2 success over hosts Budleigh Salterton.

In terms of the goal scoring honours, they went to Louise Ilsley, who scored a hat-trick, while the other two goals were netted by Meg Williams and Kathryn Brown.

Ottery team boss Mikey Ringer was understandably delighted with his team's efforts at Greenway Lane.

He said: "The game against Budleigh was on our team's radar for many months and when it was brought forward to become a floodlit game it heightened the interest, excitement and expectancy levels."

He continued: "We were missing a few key players and so selection was not easy as I knew all those that were available wanted to start and, given the level of commitment and performance from all squad members so far this season, a good argument could have been made for them all to start!

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"I had been following Budleigh's progress this season in similar fashion to how I weigh up all our forthcoming opponents and so we were well prepared for the game, with our tactic set to be to make a powerful start and, once again, we saw in this game just how potent our front line is. I'd have to say they are 'second to none' at this level.

"That said, there's one crucial ingredient that allows me the confidence to say that the front girls are that good and that is the team work and the industry of the players behind them."

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The Otterettes boss had high praise for one particular area of the team and that was the defence, of which he said: "We went into the game at Budleigh missing two of our normal back line and we tasked the versatile Georgia Baker with a key job, one that she did so well. She [Baker] epitomises everything that is good about this Ottery team for not only is she content with running through a brick wall for the team, but she does just that and then promptly asks where the next wall is!

"Leah Gething and Hazel Tucker, along with Kathryn Brown, also played key roles and, after the break, when the game went in the exact direction we anticipated, the team knuckled down to do a great collective job."

He continued: "What made the overall performance so extra special was that this was no normal game - no, far from it. It was a very real derby with all the passion that derby matches bring to the table. Ladies' football has developed so much from a basic 'turn up and play' for now it embraces planning and preparation and is being played with the same levels and commitment as the men's game."

He added: "What we saw in this terrific derby win at Budleigh is just how fast this team is continuing to learn. They are a joy to work with and the sky really is the limit for them if they maintain their current levels of progress."

Looking ahead to Sunday's game at Buckland, the Otterettes boss says: "We enjoy a good close relationship with Buckland Athletic that was born out of our semi-final defeat to them in last season's County Cup.

"However, that defeat, albeit in a close encounter, is one that we want to get revenge for and we know that we are putting our superb start to this season on the line at Buckland.

"The girls are under no illusions that this is going to be a tough game, and adding to the mix is the fact that this Buckland team is the one to beat if we are to make this season a very special one by capping it with another promotion."

To the question of: "What is the difference this season to last season in terms of why the team's success is continuing and the ladies are clearly playing at another level?", the Otterettes boss answered: "Since we started this project as a young team coming from the youth system we have worked hard to instil into the players that they will all be treated one way - as footballers - and that we will give them the faith that they can achieve, and over the seasons they have responded and grown.

"From my point of view, as a manager and a coach I have tried to treat them no differently than I would if I were dealing with a men's team.

"As to the biggest single change, that would certainly be the development of some serious self belief that in turn has helped the players to develop excellent attitudes toward the game of football which is like all sport an indeed life in as much as you will only get out of it what you put into it and the team we have now at Ottery St Mary is one that is full of confidence and no small measure of ability either!"

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