Willie Kirk

'We’ve Re-Energised The Group', Says Kirk

Willie Kirk is raring to get his first full season as LCFC Women Manager started, with a great deal of new signings at his disposal after a busy summer.
More on this story...

- Willie Kirk previewed the 2023/24 Barclays Women’s Super League campaign
- LCFC Women have added six new faces so far during the transfer window
- The Foxes finished 10th in the WSL last season
- Season tickets for Leicester’s upcoming campaign are available HERE

The Foxes are in the midst of a lengthy pre-season, ahead of their third consecutive year in the Barclays Women’s Super League, after achieving safety on the final day of last term.

When Kirk took over, Leicester were at the foot of the table and without a point, before the former Everton manager overturned a 10-point deficit for the first time in top-flight history.

Now looking ahead to a first full campaign at the helm, Kirk has opened up about pre-season training at Belvoir Drive and feels excited about the upcoming games.

“It feels like the team is coming together in terms of getting our numbers in and getting the players back from the World Cup,” the Manager began. “With the new signings coming in and working on our physical condition but also our principles of play, it's been enjoyable to be back.

It's only been two windows and it feels like my squad, so that's positive.

Willie Kirk

“I think anybody who comes into Belvoir Drive can feel the positive atmosphere. You want energy around the place and that's what we've got. We've got a nice balance between our retained players, our new players, and across ages. It's just a really positive place to be.

“New players always freshen it up. The aim is to really freshen the group up this year on the back of the last two seasons and what we want to achieve on the pitch. But, just having those different faces around, re-energises the group off the pitch as well.”

This summer has seen a rebuild in City’s camp, with several new faces coming through the door, including Belgium's most-capped player Janice Cayman, along with Janina Leitzig and Courtney Nevin who made their moves to the East Midlands permanent following successful loan spells.

So many changes provide a chance to add new energy and attributes to the squad, and the 44-year-old was keen to commend the recruitment department within the Club.

He continued: “Any manager would tell you that when you take over midway through a season, that it's about getting through that season, hitting your early objectives and then really get to work in that pre-season spell that you've got.

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Julie Thibaud
Julie Thibaud

One of the Foxes' summer additions, defender Julie Thibaud, arrived from FC Girondins de Bordeaux.

“It's a really important time, certainly with the work we've done around recruitment, it feels like my squad, and I don't think normally you feel that as quickly. It's only been two windows and it feels like my squad, so that's positive.

“You know that the players that are in the squad are there for certain reasons in terms of their style of play, in terms of what we want to do on the pitch and in terms of positional attributes.”

During pre-season, the Foxes have gained valuable minutes in several friendlies against the likes of Manchester United and Bristol City, who they’ll face on the opening day at Ashton Gate, and Kirk is hoping to be ready to go come 1 October.

“We want to treat the final friendly of the season as the start of the season,” Kirk explained. “So we're aiming to be ready for that day, which is Liverpool at Belvoir Drive in a behind closed doors match.

LCFC Women

An Exciting Season For The Foxes, Says Kirk

Willie Kirk believes LCFC Women are preparing well for their third consecutive season in the Barclays Women's Super League.

“The thing that's made us take that approach is that international break, which then follows that game. We feel that it would be a gamble waiting until after that international break where you've maybe only got three or four days with the full squad before the Bristol City game.

“All of our designs around what we're working on, why we're working on it and the physical levels as well are gearing up for that final friendly match.”

With less than a month of pre-season left, the former Bristol City manager stated his intentions and the team’s ambitions, as he looks to entice more Leicester fans to King Power Stadium this season.

“I think it's going to be an exciting season for Foxes fans,” Kirk added. “And hopefully an exciting way of playing, a way of playing that is about us and not necessarily about the opposition. Hopefully, all that comes together the way we want it to.

“It will give us points and that will put us in an exciting place in the league rather than going out in the last couple of games still sweating a little bit around the relegation spots.”

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