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Crystal Palace Ladies on Training Hard Ahead of Manchester United Game

15 November 2018

The Palace Ladies face their biggest test of the season so far this Sunday when they play host to a visiting Manchester United Women side heading to Hayes Lane second in the table having not lost a game so far.

Dean Davenport's squad have been training hard recently in the first-team gym, building their strength over the past few weeks to develop their league form.

Defender Ria Collins enthused about just how helpful the sessions have been, saying, "I love the gym, I’m in my element. I love it! I’ve always gone to the gym anyway but I love pushing myself in here. Having a bit of guidance also is really good."

Midfielder Ciara Watling built on the sentiment, explaining that the Ladies have gone from completing no gym sessions at all to benefitting from consistent, weekly routines.

"It’s really great, it’s a great facility and it’s great for us to be able to use it," she said. "Before, we were just at Bromley FC and that was only pitch sessions, so we didn’t have a gym session. We’ve gone up every week in all of our weights, so we’re definitely getting stronger. We’re getting faster as well."

But no matter how hard the Eagles have been working in the week, the side know exactly how tough Sunday's game will be.

"It’s a big game this weekend but it’s exciting," Collins said. "I’m going to do my best and hopefully smash it. We need to defend well and attack well but all we can do is our best.

"As a team, we can play some really good football. We can be aggressive at times and when we’re in form, it looks really good. We love the support and have the best fans."

Watling added, "If we get a result from this game, it’ll just push us on for the whole season. The fans are going to be the twelfth player for us. They always come to our games anyway, so we’ve always got singing and they’re always cheering us on. But at our Cup Final last season we had a lot of fans there and it was great for us."

Manager Davenport expanded on his player's thoughts, and iterated just how important it is when fans turn up to support the Ladies.

"For us, [United] is a team that we want to play against," he said. "We’ll just keep on plugging away as we do. This league is very unforgiving and it’s a massive learning curve for us. We’re competing in every game we play, definitely. Training like this will only enhance the girls’ performance.

"They [the Palace players] can’t wait for the game, all they’ve been talking about is playing United at home. There’s going to be a big crowd there, which is good, and hopefully a lot of the Palace faithful come down. That will give the players another 10-20%."

Speaking in between advising and supporting players in their routines, head of Strength & Conditioning Padraig Horgan offered a call to all Palace fans thinking about heading to Hayes Lane this Sunday to watch the Ladies side in action.

"They’re probably the biggest team in our league at the moment. If you want a good game of football, I highly suggest you come down. We’ll give them a game, we’ll run them as hard as we can and show them how fit we are; how strong we are. If you’re free, come down by all means. We’d love to see you down there and the more support we can get against United, we’ll take."

For information on tickets, which are priced with a special offer, click here.

Watch the Ladies training hard in the video below.

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