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Bluebirds Take Off Delights New Boss
Margate kicked off the 2018/19 season in style on Saturday afternoon, hosting a double header against Football League side Gillingham FC.
The club’s women’s and men’s side took on the outfit’s respective senior teams to open proceedings at Hartsdown Park for the upcoming year of football.
It was an entertaining affair for fans to enjoy with over 180 minutes of pre-season preparation gained on a hot afternoon besides the seaside.
The game not only marked the start of the season at Hartsdown but a new era for the club’s women’s team.
Affectionately known as The Bluebirds, the club’s senior women’s side – now managed by Evan Paris – welcomed FA Women’s Premier League team Gillingham Ladies for their first pre-season run out.
The match was the first under Paris’ reign and it was an occasion the boss and his team relished.
“My first pre-season game in charge of the ladies team was an exceptional experience. Away from the game itself, Margate FC really got behind the team and showed their support in different areas.”
‘Starting with arranging this fixture and then advertising it as much as the First Team’s game. With the squad’s kit hung out in the changing rooms, pitch side medical assistance, a photographer followed and after the match food and drink was provided for both teams which made it a day not to be forgotten.”
Saturday offered an opportunity for fans to watch Paris’ players for perhaps the first, but hopefully not the last time, this season.
“Lots of the players played their home games at HDP last season and know just how good the footballing venue is but with all of the above along with a few more spectators in the stands, the team is relishing the opportunity for another season at Hartsdown Park.”
It was a tough opening tie for Paris’ young side but the opportunity to play against Kent’s leading women’s club will hold the youngsters in good stead for the upcoming season.
“Playing an experienced FA WPL side such as Gillingham FC was always going to be a tough ask, especially with four of five more experienced players missing on the day. This gave others the chance to shine and they gave it their best on a scorching day.”
“There were a lot of positives taken from the game but the ladies know themselves that the lack of match fitness saw us fade in the second half against a supremely fit Gills side. Saying that not one player let me, themselves or the club down with the effort they gave.”
Paris hopes the weekend’s start will propel The Bluebirds further as the club looks to strengthen it’s women and girls player pathway.
There’s opportunity to be had and a welcoming environment to join, according to Parris.
“The mood around the squad is that of excitement and anticipation for the new season. There’s already a togetherness in the team along with the new faces joining this season."
“But the squad isn’t complete yet and any ladies over the age of 16 are always welcome to come along and join the team training on Tuesday nights from 7pm.”
Monday, 16 July 2018
By Charlotte Richardson