Hills hopes Spurs Ladies can pick up where they left off after ‘dream’ first half of the season

Spurs Ladies manager Karen Hills (right) with strength and conditioning coach Anton Blackwood. Pictu

Spurs Ladies manager Karen Hills (right) with strength and conditioning coach Anton Blackwood. Picture: wusphotography.com - Credit: Archant

Manager Karen Hills says Spurs Ladies’ first half of the season was a dream come true – and she is determined to turn the team’s momentum into tangible success in 2017.

Tottenham have won 18 of their 19 games in all competitions so far this campaign, drawing the other, and they sit top of the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division, while they have also secured their place in the semi-finals of three cup competitions.

The Lilywhites return to action after the Christmas break with a second-round FA Cup tie against Gillingham on Sunday – and Hills hopes her side will pick up where they left off.

“Where we finished 2016 is something I could only dream of at the start of the season,” she said. “To be in the position that we’re in, I can’t take all the credit, and I certainly wouldn’t do that. It’s a team of staff and players that have all bought into it, and it’s a squad that has brought us to where we’ve got to.

“It’s not just 11 players, there’s 21 or 22 players that can go on and change the game, and that’s what you need.

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“It’s onwards and upwards. We’ll enjoy [what we did in] 2016 but will now be focused on 2017. We want to finish where we’ve just left off, to come back with some big performances, work hard in training and put the effort in when we come onto the pitch, and we want our quality to shine through.

“If we can continue doing that on a weekly basis then who knows what the season holds for us, but we’ve always said since the start that we want to be in the top three, challenging for trophies, and so far we’re on the right track.”

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Hills continued: “The girls have been outstanding in everything they’ve done so far. The work-rate has been excellent from pre-season all the way up until now.

“We strengthened our coaching staff this season by incorporating a strength and conditioning coach, as well as adding an additional training session, which has allowed us to not only work on the pitch but to utilise a gym, as well as doing pool recovery sessions. I think all of that has provided the ingredients for us to be as successful as we have been.

“I also think the new signings that we brought in at the start of pre-season have made a difference by coming in and really stamping their authority on the game.

“Overall I just think everyone has really bought into what the team of coaches – and the strength and conditioning coach and physio - want them to be. They do everything they’ve been asked to do, on and off the pitch.

“A lot of credit goes to Juan [Amoros, the first-team head coach]. He works exceptionally hard, planning a number of coaching sessions that the girls are really buying into around set pieces, and all the added bits of detail that he puts in that sometimes go a little bit unnoticed. However, I know the girls appreciate everything that we do, and it’s so far so good.”

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