BEES BOSS HAS TOUGH CHALLENGE AT THE HIVE
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