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'There is a great buzz' - Nicholls

30 July 2013

Coventry City Ladies manager Craig Nicholls is looking forward to taking City Ladies forward...

Coventry City Ladies manager Craig Nicholls has admitted that he senses a “buzz” around Coventry City Ladies Football Club, as he takes the early steps into his first foray as manager.

Nicholls was appointed in the role towards the end of June, taking over from Chris Holloway who stepped down after just seven months due to work and family commitments.

His impressive CV lists four years coaching in the United States, as well as two years as coach of FA Women’s Super League side Bristol Academy. But Nicholls is now relishing the opportunity to step up and take the reigns as manager of the Sky Blues.

“I am definitely feeling a buzz from everyone at the club on what we are looking to achieve,” Nicholls admitted. “I'm hopeful that the fans keep coming down to the Bedworth Oval to support the team for the upcoming season.”

The Sky Blues kicked off their pre-season campaign with a 4-0 loss to reigning FA Women’s Super League champions Arsenal last week, with seasoned internationals Katie Chapman, Emma Byrne, Emma Mitchell and Yvonne Tracy amongst those named in a strong Gunners line-up.

Nicholls had the majority of the team that celebrated last season’s highest-ever league finish at his disposal, with the notable absence of top goalscorer Courtney Sweetman-Kirk.

The forward has now joined Women’s Super League side Lincoln Ladies after a busy summer, which included her first call-up to the England U-23 squad, before playing a crucial role in helping Great Britain secure Gold at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia.

Despite the setback of losing Sweetman-Kirk, Nicholls is only focused on getting his players up to speed ahead of the big kick-off in four weeks.

“After the Arsenal game, the squad has been very positive and the girls have gone from strength to strength in training. My medical team, headed by Andy Frampton, have also been fantastic and everyone is fit and healthy due to the work they have been doing with the players to reduce injury.”

August.thCoventry’s scheduled friendly with Radcliffe Borough at the weekend was cancelled, meaning that their next match is a visit to Women's Midlands Combination Football League side Loughborough Foxes on Sunday 4

A midweek match against fellow Midlands Combination side Leicester City follows, before the Sky Blues wrap up their pre-season schedule with home ties against Milton Keynes Dons and Sheffield FC.

August.thNicholls’ first competitive game in charge will see the Sky Blues host Sussex-based Lewes in the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division on Sunday 25

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