Durham Women will make a host of changes for their Continental Tyres Cup clash at Manchester City – with an emphasis on youth.
The Wildcats head to the Academy Stadium this evening (7pm kick-off) in their second group stage game – having drawn 2-2 with Manchester United in their tournament opener.
And with the clash with the Citizens on the horizon, manager Lee Sanders is keen to give some of the club’s talented youngsters the opportunity to play against some of the best players the women’s game has to offer.
Grace Ayre, Hannah Greenwood, Lily Crosthwaite, Erin Nicholson and Brooke Mackain will all be involved in the squad this evening – with Durham set to shuffle their pack ahead of an FA Women’s Championship trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday.
“Our focus has to be on the league and preparing the senior players as best as we can to meet the demands of the league programme,” explained Sanders.
“Initially this game wasn’t in the schedule but it’s been added after the results of the Champions League, and we’ve got this away trip and then a long away weekend down to Crystal Palace.
“For me personally, I believe the Continental Tyres Cup is somewhere where you can give players opportunities and is where young players should get a chance.
“We’ll make six or seven changes and give the opportunity to some of our younger players at the football club to compete against some excellent players with world class experience.
“That’s really exciting for me. When I think back to the last time we played Manchester City seven years ago – several of our senior players will have played in that game at a similar age to those who will come in tonight.
“Our senior players had those experiences when they were younger so it’s important the current youngsters get them too.
“So all in all, I’m really excited for them to go out there and play and enjoy every minute of it.”