23 January 2014

ALFC : Shelley Kerr staying positive

Arsenal Ladies manager, Shelley Kerr
Pengurus Arsenal Ladies, Shelley Kerr telah di temu ramah Women's Football Podcast tentang musim pertamanya di Arsenal. Shelley turut berbicara mengenai kapten pasukan Arsenal Ladies, Kelly Smith, bintang muda pasukan, Jordan Nobbs serta memberikan petanda akan ada beberapa lagi pemain baru bakal dibawa masuk termasuk menceritakan tentang visinya untuk kelab dan pandangannya tentang pemain-pemain yang meninggalkan pasukan. Shelley Kerr turut menafikan berita yang pemain utama meninggalkan Arsenal Ladies kerana Arsenal Ladies tidak cukup professional.. Kesemua interview ini adalah dalam bahasa Inggeris.

Shelley Kerr with her first trophy as ALFC manager
 Interviewer : How's it's been in your first year at the club and how you sum it up overall.

Shelley Kerr : I think that the first year has been a challenge but an exciting challenge. Obviously Arsenal has been a dominant club in women's football. There's high expectation at the club but I think when you take everything into consideration, we had a remarkable season. We completed the domestic double, winning both cups, we got to the semi final of the Champions League and on top of that we done a whole restructure within the club. Huge part of the success and we want to continue that success and we want to invest and develop our young players so we restructure those area of the team where we think it's our future. So I think when you take everything into consideration and I think the year has been quite an interesting one and a successful one too.

Arsenal Ladies first signing, Siobhan Chamberlain
Interviewer : Obviously it's a busy period for you at the moment during the off season. Lots of club building their squad as of you. Bought in couple of player, Casey Stoney, Siobhan Chamberlain, some experience player you bought in there.

Shelley Kerr : Yeah. Absolutely. Obviously we want to continue our success so bringing experience players into the club is really important. I'm a great believer that you have to have a right balance and for me I think we get some of the best players in the country and we obviously got a lot of experience players as well. So get the balance right is important but yeah certainly in Casey and Siobhan you got a lot of experience there.

Interviewer : How challenging is it because you look at clubs around you they are catching up Arsenal who has been a top club for so long. Is that put more pressure on you and the squad?

Shelley Kerr : I think it was great. We need more clubs to challenge and I think that Arsenal is a club who thrive on that and you shouldn't be in a comfort zone and I think it's great on women's football in general. For Arsenal as a club we need to move forward, we need to ensure that we not just doing the same thing that we always do, we need to do more and we need to do it better and that's what we are trying to do.

Kelly Smith take on assistant manager role
Interviewer : One of the decision that you make when you came in last season is to make Kelly Smith a team member of your coaching staff. How she settle into the role and how please are you of the influence that she had?

Shelley Kerr : I think she's instrumental. Kelly achieved lots in the game and my opinion she's been arguably one of the best players in the world. She's so much experience but she's has all the attributes to become a fantastic coach too. But they don't say those years we hadn't had her on the pitch and hopefully that change this season.

Interviewer : That's one thing many people forgot about last season. You did have such an influential player out for pretty much the whole year. Are you hopefully she will might be able to involve this year or did you see more the role of a coach like she did last season?

Shelley Kerr : The first thing is I'm hoping that Kelly on the pitch. She such a fantastic talent. So yeah we did miss her last season but just now in pre season she has been training really hard and working well. We hopeful that she's more on the pitch that off it.

No more Ellen White & Kim Little
Interviewer : Arsenal has been on the headlines a lot for the last couple of months and quite a few departures of the like of Gemma Davison, Kim Little, Ellen White who had been instrumental player for the club. How's disappointing is that and how hard did the club try to keep those players?

Shelley Kerr : Yeah of course it's disappointing. Cause everyone know that Arsenal have talented players. Players leaves for different reasons. Each individuals has their reasons. I think going forward we have to obviously bring players to the club, which we have done and something that can be exciting you know, bringing players to the club. So yeah. If talking about Kim (Little) for example. She always have aspiration of playing abroad and you need to ask the players individually in their particular reasons for leaving. But certainly for us I would invite them to the environment that we provide as a professional environment. This moment of time we will be training 4 days a week and sometimes double session, we have strength and condition programed. We obviously introduce some video analysis and that's important that players to have the right environment and as much as we disappointed that the players has left but equally we are absolutely delighted and excited about the players that we bring into the club.

Ladies train at men's ground, London Colney
Interviewer : Lot of people have stated that the players has left because clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City and Notts County are offering this professional environment, 5 days a week training but actually Arsenal already had a similar set up and I think people weren't quite aware of that aren't they?

Shelley Kerr : Yeah. I mean we have a fantastic facility at Arsenal training ground (London Colney) and as I said previously, this season we probably train the most. I know that Liverpool obviously train 4 days but we already had the players in 4 days training and that will only increase. So there is an environment that professional provided and that's important in the process of advertising for full time physio so there will be a recovery session in there as well. As I said earlier it's important for us as a club that we don't just rest on our laurels that we move forward and we try to be even more professional than what we are and that's what we gonna do.

New signing, Anouk Hoogendijk
Interviewer : How hard are you working to replace the other players that has gone?

Shelley Kerr : We obviously had announcement this week (last week) as well. We signed Anouk Hoogendijk from Ajax. So again she will strength defensively and I think you see another couple of faces come in and as I said before it's important that you have the right type of player coming to the club like Arsenal, they need to have the right character we want players at the club who available to train everyday because we want to become even better. So yeah I think you will see another couple of faces.

Interviewer : You mention Anouk there. Obviously she played for Bristol in FA WSL couple of years ago. Play more as a holding midfielder role and in international team she play more of defensive role. Did you see her in any one position at Arsenal or you bought her in for her versatility?

Shelley Kerr : Well I think it's great that players are versatile. Because that's means you can utilize them in different positions and I think Anouk play for her national team as a centre back so we probably can let Anouk play in another defensive area. But it is good when you have player that can be versatile.

Jordan Nobbs celebrate her goal in FA Cup final
Interviewer : Looking at another one of your star from last season, Jordan Nobbs already a player that well recognized but probably her breakout season last year, really coming into her own, earned England caps and how big of a future you think she is for Arsenal and for England as well?

Shelley Kerr : I personally think that Jordan is one of the best players in the league last season. I think her performances has been fantastic and she has been very consistent. I think people forget what age she's actually is. She's still really really young (21 years old) but I think she such a fantastic talent and she's obviously got an opportunity in England squad now and then and I think she's only getting better and better.

Interviewer : Looking ahead, big Champions League tie against Birmingham City, WSL rivals, can't not mention the fact that Lyon are out of the tournament, does that give Arsenal a little bit more of a chance don't you think?

Shelley Kerr : I think always when the favorites knocked out, everyone get select because it's make it's more interesting. The women's game is thriving, all the teams getting better and better so when you get to the stage of the competition, it's get tougher every year so I think first thing is you have to look at the games against Birmingham because it's always difficult game when Arsenal play against Birmingham. So that's a tough test for us but important thing is we get some new players in and we need to ensure the new players gel and we are ready to go into the first game when it comes along.

Arsenal was FA WSL Champions in 2011 & 2012
Interviewer : You obviously in pre season now and looking ahead at the league, you got a league title to try and claim back from Liverpool and what's sort of goal you set to the team for this coming season?

Shelley Kerr : None yet. I think when you play the game, when you involve in the game, everyone wants to win every game. I'm not any different from anyone else. We have got a group of players that are winners and that's important. We got long history of wining things, we want to continue that. But we knew it's not going to be easy. There so many team that bridging the gap and as I mention earlier it should be like that. That's what make you better as a player to play against better player, better teams.

Interviewer : So my final question will be to those Arsenal fans who thinking of buying season ticket to come to Boreham Wood this season, what would your message be to them?

Shelley Kerr : We will continue to play the way that we play. We have a philosophy, playing philosophy, love to play attractive football, want to entertain the supporters and I think it's exciting times ahead for Arsenal. We moving to the next level, we want to have key infrastructures at the club and we want to provide entertainment to supporters. So yeah come along and watch us.