Lewes FC boss Scott Booth says the squad is hungry to get going again as they prepare to host London City Lionesses at the Dripping Pan on Sunday.
Having played out a 2-2 draw with Southampton in front of a bumper crowd of 1,119 three weeks ago, the Rooks are finally back in action at the Pan, with tickets still available to buy online.
The international break and last weekend’s pause to the football calendar as a mark of respect to the Queen’s passing means Booth has had more time to work on the team.
And he’s hoping for a big impact from the players come Sunday at 2pm.
“The break has given us an opportunity to make sure the players have rested up more, and at the same time work on a few more things in training,” says Booth.
“We were able to have an in-house game where we worked on a few things, which gave us a chance to give some more detailed feedback to the players.”
New faces in the squad
Lewes welcomed two new players to the club this week, with Zoe Smith and Charlyann Pizzarello arriving. The duo have already gotten to know their team-mates fairly well, and Booth has high hopes for both players this season.
“They’re going to really help us. They give us a lot more depth in the squad, which we’ve not really had,” says Booth.
“But now we’ve got a much deeper squad. They’re players who bring something a bit different to the team.
“Charlyann has a great left foot and can play up and down that side, pretty much anywhere. When she’s fully settled in she will be a great addition for us.
“Zoe’s young and ambitious, and wants to be a regular first-team player at some point. She will develop and give us that depth we need in the midfield area.”
Focus on London City
Lewes beat London City 1-0 at the Pan last season with Ini Umotong scoring an early winner. But the Lionesses got the better of the reverse fixture in April, winning 1-0 thanks to a Rebecca McKenna own goal.
London City have kicked off this season with a win over Charlton and defeat to Crystal Palace.
Discussing the game plan heading into Sunday, Booth says: “It’s not especially different in our prep. We normally work through games in the same way, we’ve plenty of video footage of the opposition, we know roughly what formations and systems they’ve worked, what they might play against us.
“You’ve got to be aware of any changes they might make on the day but we’ve done a lot of work on them. It’s that combination of working in training while also continuing to try and improve yourselves – that’s the key.”
Support the team at the Pan!
Three weeks ago Lewes played out an entertaining draw with Southampton at the Dripping Pan, with another bumper crowd roaring the Rooks on.
And Booth says he felt the impact of the crowd on the players, and hopes to welcome another vocal following to the Pan this Sunday.
“Getting back to the Pan will be great,” says the boss. “The Southampton game was amazing because it had been such a long time in the process, watching for weeks and weeks the pitch being laid.
“We didn’t really get that many opportunities to train on it, so it was still very new when we have the first league game against Southampton.
“It’s great to be at the Pan with a brilliant crowd. And the crowd is hugely important. They’re really up close and you can feel their presence. It’s massive for us and gives us that boost we need.”
Both teams will mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II with a minute’s silence ahead of kick off.
Lewes vs London City Lionesses tickets
You can buy Lewes FC tickets for the game, which kicks off at 2pm on Sunday, online or at the gate.
Ticket prices are as follows:
• Adults – £12 general admittance online
• Concessions – £8 general admittance online
• Kids (under 16) – free!
• Beach hut for six people – £110
Photo: James Boyes