Pre-Match Report

Ladies: Bristol v Arsenal - Preview

Siobhan Chamberlain

Pedro Martinez Losa has plenty of options in attack. With Natalia, Lianne Sanderson and Chioma Ubogagu all challenging Rachel Yankey, Kelly Smith and Danielle Carter for places, the manager faces a tough decision when naming his starting line-up.

However, his biggest selection headache will come from picking his first-choice goalkeeper. Much like the men’s team, Arsenal Ladies have two internationals to choose from in Emma Byrne and Siobhan Chamberlain.

Byrne has started six of the Gunners’ eight games this season, but Chamberlain is confident that the competition for places is only benefiting both players.

"Goalkeeping is often a position that gets criticised in women’s football, but outfield players get regular coaching and goalkeepers don’t always get that"

Siobhan Chamberlain

“It’s really good,” she told Arsenal.com. “If you get comfortable then you can let little mistakes happen and become a bit relaxed, but this pushes us on to get even better.

“Unfortunately for me I picked up a little injury so I haven’t been able to train for the last couple of weeks, but it’s good to have that competition.

“It’s also really helpful to have consistent goalkeeping coaching with Jason Brown. He’s in a few times a week, so it’s good to have that quality coming in regularly and will only help us improve as goalkeepers.

“Goalkeeping is often a position that gets criticised in women’s football, but outfield players get regular coaching and goalkeepers don’t always get that. That needs to be brought in for younger goalkeepers as well - that’s only going to help goalkeeping improve in the women’s game.

One of the younger goalkeepers at Arsenal is 19-year-old Hollie Augustus, who has been the Gunners’ second choice in Chamberlain’s absence.

“It’s great experience for her to be on the bench against Sunderland and Chelsea,” the England international said. “Just to be involved, be in and around the squad, and to learn from players like Emma and myself as well. She’s learning with Jason all the time and is enjoying and embracing the opportunity.”

Arsenal Ladies face Bristol Academy at Stoke Gifford Stadium on Saturday. Kick-off is 6.30pm (UK time) and you can follow live updates on @ArsenalLadies from 6.25pm.

Emma Byrne

 

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