BEES BOSS HAS TOUGH CHAL­LENGE AT THE HIVE

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By Sam Tobin

LON­DON BEES be­gin life un­der Dave Ed­mond­son in to­day’s FA Cup third-round tie against Durham, and the new man­ager be­lieves the sky’s the limit.

Ed­mond­son led Bris­tol City to the 2014-15 Women’s Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter-fi­nals, de­feat­ing Barcelona on the way, and also won Aus­tralia’s W-League with Mel­bourne Vic­tory the previous sea­son.

But he now faces ar­guably the big­gest chal­lenge of his ca­reer: to turn around the for­tunes of a team who man­aged just three WSL2 wins in 2015.

Af­ter tak­ing train­ing at The Hive for the first time on Tues­day, Ed­mond­son con­cedes there is an abun­dance of work to do.

Yet he be­lieves he can dras­ti­cally change the for­tunes of the North Lon­don­ers, to en­sure they are in the mix for pro­mo­tion in 2017.

“It’s a long-term project,” said Ed­mond­son. “This first sea­son is very much about so­lid­i­fy­ing, ce­ment­ing a spot within WSL2, be­ing com­pet­i­tive in ev­ery game and just set­ting a frame­work to be able to push.

“It’s hard to say how quickly things could hap­pen. There are some good young play­ers around at some big clubs who maybe don’t get game time in WSL1.

“There are lots of peo­ple we’re look­ing at. It’s just a case of try­ing to con­vince them to come to the Bees and mak­ing sure they are also the right fit.

“Next year, you would hope to be re­ally push­ing on and not have as many changes in the team. I think this year there will be quite a few. A num­ber of play­ers have moved on and we’ll need to get in some new play­ers.

“But, if we can do that quite sen­si­bly over the next cou­ple of weeks and build with those play­ers, then the fol­low­ing sea­son you’d hope to re­ally be com­pet­ing at the top of the ta­ble.”

Though Ed­mond­son has barely had time to be­come fa­mil­iar with his new sur­round­ings, he has taken heart from what he has wit­nessed this week.

He fears the cup tie may have come too soon in his reign, how­ever.

“It’s very much a case of al­most get­ting this game out of the way,” said the former New Zealand U17s coach. “Then, we re­ally start look­ing to in­vite play­ers into train­ing over the next cou­ple of weeks in terms of re­cruit­ment.

“It doesn’t re­ally mat­ter who we drew for this game. The draw was done way be­fore I was even in­volved with the club.

“It’s go­ing to be a great op­por­tu­nity for some of the younger de­vel­op­ment play­ers we’ve got to stake a claim, play­ing against another WSL2 team.

“They’ve got an op­por­tu­nity to show that they are up to WSL stan­dard.

“The FA Cup is a great [com­pe­ti­tion], but it’s just come too soon re­ally.

“The de­vel­op­ment girls will put up a good fight on Sun­day, I’m sure, and if they can get through then we’ll have a very dif­fer­ent team come the next round.”

TAK­ING CHARGE: New Lon­don Bees boss Dave Ed­mond­son

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