Preview | Swansea City Ladies v Cardiff City Women
Swansea City Ladies and Cardiff City Women put their 100 per cent records on the line this weekend as the Welsh Premier Women’s League pacesetters go head-to-head.
Ian Owen’s side have made a superb start to the campaign by winning their three league matches – 1-0 at defending champions Cardiff Met on the opening day followed by 3-0 triumphs over Aberystwyth and Llandudno.
Now they face another big test against their Cardiff City counterparts at Llandarcy on Sunday (2pm) the match comes shortly after the first team do battle with Neil Warnock’s Bluebirds at the Liberty.
And Owen is confident his squad can continue hitting their peak levels as they look to end Cardiff’s perfect start and maintain their own.
“As always this game will be tight. Both teams are playing well so this will be a tough test and concentration will play a big part,” said Owen.
“The players are focused and know it’s a game that can influence the outcome of the league – even at this early stage - but we have been in good form so the squad is really looking forward to it.
“It’s a game between the teams with the only perfect record in the league, so something has to give.”
Owen has a few minor injuries in the build-up to this game, but they are hopeful to overcome those in time for the match.
One player continuing her comeback from an ACL injury is Chloe Chivers, with the Welsh international making her debut in the home win over Aberystwyth.
“We have been really pleased with the progress Chloe has made but after such a serious injury we will not rush her,” said Owen.
“Chloe is a very talented player and will play a big part in our future.”
Stacey John-Davis has started the season in promising form, with the striker netting four goals in three league outings.
And Owen has been delighted with her form in front of goal.
“Stacey has performed well so far and done everything we have asked of her, hopefully her good form will continue,” he added. “Stacey, like everyone else, is an important part of the jigsaw.”
The Swans’ strength in depth has proved a key factor behind their impeccable start to the season, with Chivers joined by fellow Wales internationals Hannah Miles and Deanna Lewis as summer acquisitions along with Emily Haywood, Brooke Llewellyn, Kate Searle, Pheobe Ware and Cerys Bevan.
Owen added: “Every player knows that a starting place is not guaranteed and we are clear about that, players need to earn the right to play.
“Ambitious players enjoy the competitiveness and realise that the environment we have created to train, learn and become a better player assures them that they are in the right place.
“The support to players from our backroom staff is first class – coaching, medical, analysis and looking after their general well-being through our chaplaincy program.”
Entry to the game in Llandarcy is free.