PREVIEW: City of Peterborough Ladies are ready for the toughest test in their history

City of Peterborough Ladies celebrate their promotion from East Division One North last season.
City of Peterborough Ladies celebrate their promotion from East Division One North last season.
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City of Peterborough Ladies are excited by the prospect of playing at the highest level in the club’s history.

City will take part in the East Premier League for the first time after registering two promotions in the last three seasons.

It will be tough, but City won’t lack for quality on and off the field when they take on Cambridge University in their opening fixture at Bretton Gate on Saturday (11.30am).

Guy Bolsover, a top-class National League player in his heyday, will manage the side, while Gareth Andrews, a prolific National League goalscorer in his pomp, will act as head coach, assisted by unsung hero Paul Hillsdon.

Club captain Lauren Finding won’t play due to pregnancy, but she will still be heavily involved on the sidelines.

Robyn Gribble, vice-captain in the successful promotion campaign in Division One North last season, will take over as skipper, while goalkeeper Holly Riches has moved to City from Harleston and central defender Verity Allen has made the short trip across the A47 from Wisbech.

City have enjoyed a fine pre-season campaign which has given them the confidence to take on the best club sides in the East.

“We are taking plenty of positives into the season,” Finding , who has skippered the side for the last three seasons, said. “We have played well in pre-season until tiredness caught up with us in our final game last weekend.

“We are delighted to have Guy Bolsover managing the side as he will provide key game management and great encouragement from the sidelines.

“Gareth’s coaching has concentrated on fitness, core skills and on developing a winning style of play.”

City have lost Di Bevan from last season’s squad. She has left to attend Bath University.

City seconds start their Division Two North season away to Cambridge University, also on Saturday.

Opening day East League fixtures

Ladies

Premier Division - City of Peterborough v Cambridge University.

Division One North - Lowestoft v Wisbech.

Division Two North West - Cambridge University 2nds v City of Peterborough 2nds, Cambridge Nomads v Spalding, Long Sutton v Wisbech 2nds.

Division Three North West - March v Haverhill, Bourne Deeping v Horncastle, Spalding 2nds v Bury St Edmunds 3rds, City of Peterborough 3rds v Cambridge University 3rds.

Division Four North West (North) - Spalding 3rds v Louth 2nds, Bourne Deeping 3rds v City of Peterborough 4ths, Skegness v Bourne Deeping 2nds, Long Sutton 2nds v Spalding 4ths.