The England midfielder Jade Moore has expressed frustration that poor scheduling is stunting preparations for the new Women’s Super League season, which kicks off at the weekend, and disrupting attempts to capitalise on the World Cup as a result.

England play Norway in a friendly on Tuesday night, following a 3-3 draw in Belgium on Thursday, and Moore has been forced to withdraw from the camp having picked up a thigh injury.

With the opening weekend of the Barclays FA WSL on 7‑8 September, just days after players return from international duties in Euro 2021 qualifiers and friendlies, there is little time for clubs to ready their senior internationals for the new campaign.

“I think we have something like five players next week that are left behind,” said Moore. “What are they [Reading’s coaches] meant to do with five players? We definitely look at it and go ‘it’s just bad timing’. You want consistency with your club and you go away with England, have a little break and play a different formation, play slightly differently. Then you get dropped back in the club. We play Tuesday, arrive back Wednesday, probably have Thursday off. So I’ll be in Reading on Friday, and Saturday, then the game, the first game of the season. Two days preparation.”

With the international calendar set by Fifa and the FA juggling the women’s domestic schedule the task of making all competitions fit together is complex. Moore, though, cannot understand how with fewer teams in the league than the Premier League, meaning fewer games, there is such a struggle to fit everything in.

“I don’t know who does the league or how they plan it out but I never understand how we don’t have enough weeks in the year to play a game a week,” she said. “I don’t know whether that’s just me. I actually really like playing midweek because it breaks my training week up, it doesn’t make it so monotonous. But I don’t get why we cram games in. And I do get the ‘well, you’ve got a good squad, you’ve got enough money etc, like, that’s the way football is going to go’ argument. But we don’t have many teams we don’t have what the Premiership have. We’re not playing 50-odd games a season.”

While frustrated at the ongoing problems, the 28-year-old is well aware that the switch from a summer to a winter season has improved things.

“We rolled from a summer, into an international tournament into a summer league into international qualifiers. And as you actually map it out, there’ll be players if they’ve not been injured, that will go 18 months cycles or 24 months cycles where they’ve never had more than probably seven days off. And then you look at injuries and maybe somewhere along the line they’re over-use injuries and just inevitable.”

With talks of a possible Fifa World League gaining pace, the calendar for those at the top is only going to get tougher. “The thing is, as players we want more games, but we also want it to fit better. We don’t want there to be an increase of risk to health.

“Around 30 games per season is still not a lot compared to what the men do. But then if we’re cramming in 15 games in two months, it’s different, isn’t it?

“We’re talking about something completely different than what would be a eight or nine-month season that you play week in week with a couple of two-game weeks. It’s when you end up doing two games, two games, two games that there is a problem.”

source: theguardian.com

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