Archers boss Dr Kerry Harris speaks of strength in depth in Met squad
Cardiff Metropolitan University, Head Coach Kerry Harris has praised the quality of her squad after an influx of player arrivals over the summer.
Last season, the Met claimed both the Welsh Premier League Women’s Cup, as well as the FAW Women’s Cup, overcoming Abergavenny Town and Swansea City in the finals.
But eager to reclaim the title from Swansea City and earn that Champions League Spot, the Archers strengthened to make sure they’d have the right players to compete at the top again.
Jasmine Simpson, Naomi Clipton, Grace Corne, Kitty Wells, Monique Fischer, Keneesha Nannette, Jayde Cook and Choe Tiey all arrived at Cyncoed Campus this summer, with all of them aiming to make a big impact with the club.
As well as player arrivals, there were also a number of familiar faces returning from injury, like influential defender Sophie Scherschel.
“They’ve naturally brought depth and with that, healthy competition. These players all come in with very different experiences and from different styles of play (some are overseas players) of value to us. We welcome this rich tapestry.
“There have been a few returns from injury that have also brought us strength and depth – Sophie Scherschel’s return has made a real impact.”
One story of the season has so far been the form of 15-year-old forward Jasmine Simpson who has netted five goals in five appearances this season. One of those includes a penalty over title rivals Swansea City, away at Llandarcy.
“Jasmine has had a great start with us, she’s got plenty of raw ability, lots of potential and has an excellent work ethic. That combination and the desire to learn and improve has cemented her place in the squad.
We knew she’d do well for us with the right support. She has that support from her club and family and as a result has made a significant impact to our attacking line.”
Partnering Simpson on many occasions has been forward Naomi Clipton who has since returned to the university. Her six goals in five appearances, has he ranked just ahead of her teammate Jasmine Simpson.
“Naomi is one of our alumni, someone who has come full circle having been a product of our earlier program, graduated and moved on, then returned. She’s an experienced player and composed finisher.”
As well as welcoming a number of players to the club this summer, Head Coach, Dr. Kerry Harris handed the armband to Tija Richardson this campaign.
The defender played a part in the clubs Champions League fixtures after their league title win in the 2015/2016 season.
After replacing Robyn Pinder as captain, the 22-year-old has helped mold a solid back line with the Archers, with the fewest goals conceded this season.
“Tija is a natural leader and someone who is highly respected by all players and staff. She’s a no-nonsense defender and good ball player as well. She knows how players ‘tick’ and how to get the best out of her teammates.” said Richardson’s boss Harris.
“You can see her commitment in the way she plays. She’s willing to put her body in where it hurts for her team and to get the result.”
(Featured Image: Will Cheshire)