As the Orlando Pride move into their third week of training, Head Coach Tom Sermanni is looking to move past the basic strengthening of fitness and cohesion, and to start to move towards developing different formations and potentially a starting eleven.
“We’re starting to get a lot more cohesion around the squad,” Coach Sermanni said after training on Friday. “We’ve had two games now, players are obviously a little bit fitter, and they’re more in their stride. They’re getting more familiar with one another.”
“It’s now about us starting to do… like a second phase of preseason, where we’re starting to look at potential starting elevens, we’re starting to look at potential systems,” Coach Sermanni said. “We’re still assessing players, we’ve still got trialists with us, and we’re still finalizing the last couple of spots on the squad.”
As the tempo and the fitness have increased, Coach Sermanni has been increasingly pleased with his younger and less experienced players. “They’ve all done really well,” Coach Sermanni said. “They’ve all pleased us in different ways. And there are a couple that are very much in the mix to get a contract.”
Next week, the Pride will gain Steph Catley and Laura Alleway from Australia, but will be losing Josée Bélanger (Canada), Ashlyn Harris (USA), Alex Morgan (USA), and Monica Hickmann Alves (Brazil) to international duty. Coach Sermanni said that this coming and going of players is just something that the team will have to get used to. “We’re gonna be doing a bit of juggling between now and the start of the season.”
In terms of week three, Coach Sermanni thinks the team needs to continue to work on getting to know each other. “It’s just a continuation of what we’re doing,” Coach Sermanni said. “So, it’s a continuation of refining what I want them to do in a soccer sense… how I want us to play both tactically and philosophically.”