Hull City Ladies ended pre-season in defeat after a tough battle against Brighouse, with Rebecca Beach HCL’s only scorer, as the Tigresses tried another system once again in pre-season.

Adi Costello said: “First of all I would like to thank Brighouse for hosting us, it was a good game of football, we played a new system today, we haven’t had a chance to coach it in the week because of light conditions so we were coaching it in the game, we’ve talked about it in training, talked about it in the changing room, we threw the new system at the players to see how they would adapt because we might have to do it in the season.

We may only have three fit defenders, we brought four reserves players through and gave them an opportunity to play, it was good, I’ve got to be honest we’ve got to do all these things in pre-season because what you don’t want to do is when it comes to the games and you’ve only got three fit defenders, at least we’ve done it and we understand the principles and the girls can move on.”

After securing three consecutive wins in pre-season against Wakefield, Harrogate, and Barnsley, the Tigress suffered two losses against Manchester United Women Under 21’s and Brighouse Ladies, however, the performances are more important than the results according to first-team manager Adi Costello.

“Pre-season is about learning, not just for the players, for the staff as well, we have to learn what’s our best system, what are our best players and what’s the best way of playing and we’ve done that in the last seven weeks, starting all those many moons ago against Wakefield,” said Costello.

Hull City Ladies found themselves one-nil down and equalised 20 minutes from time as Beech, who has scored 164 goals in 179 games, fired home, however, Brighouse sealed the win with a goal on the 8th minute.

“The girls did very well, and hat’s off to Brighouse they played well, 1st half they sat in against us and made it hard for us, so we had to learn at half-time to be more composed, it’s hard because we started so well and utilised the width and we got a lot of joy but then we reverted back to getting the ball out wide and thumping it in the box and we lost that edge and let them back in the game and that’s football, it was a really good game, said Costello.

Costello is looking forward to his first full season in charge and believes in his vision. “There’s no point in shouting at your players as that’s counter-productive, actually coaching and telling them can you drop in there, can you do this, move the ball the girls do respond.

I look back to that 1st game that I was in charge, away to Loughborough, and I’ll be honest we were rubbish, we were poor, there was no game plan and no belief but today the girls were actually starting to play into a system and starting to believe in each other and starting to trust each other and if you’ve got all those you will start to play decent football.”

Hull City Ladies start the FA Women’s National League on 20th September against Middlesborough Women away at Bedford Terrace, the home of Billingham Town. Get your tickets here!

The Tigresses 1st home game is Sunderland Ladies on Sunday 27th September, then three days later take on Huddersfield Women on Wednesday 30th September. All season pass holders will be guaranteed entry to all home games this season. Buy your season tickets or match tickets here!

Everyone at Hull City Ladies is looking forward to the start of the season. Costello said: “We are looking forward to it, it’s always in the back of your mind are we going to finish we all want to start but what you don’t want to be doing is stopping and starting. Start and let’s get it finished. All the girls are looking forward to it, (but I do think they’re a little bit in the back of their minds thinking will we finish the season) we all want to get on and start-finish and whatever happens happens.”

*Written by Alex Robinson
* Photograph by Kevin Greene, Kevin Green Photography