Following on from their league cup win, we spoke to Tottenham’s Lucy Quinn about the benefits of the group format of the competition as well as how things are coming together for Spurs in their first WSL season.
The WSL cup, split into regional groups before the knock-out stages is still one that divides opinion between fans and pundits but usually it’s the players who champion the format. For Quinn – like Amy Taylor at Lewes – there is a huge benefit to the group stages with peripheral and development squad players getting more and more chances to get minutes on the pitch. Spurs’ last match against the Rookettes was no exception with Sofia Stovold, Elisha Sulola, and Renea Jarrett all making their first team debuts.
“Really good to have, three of the kids come in and play some minutes, cup games are really good occasions when things like that can happen and they played really well; they’ll probably be kicking me out of the team quite soon which is quite scary but it was good to have them.”
For Quinn, who has greatly impressed when she’s come off of the bench for Spurs so far this season but is yet to really lock down a starting spot, the added matches give her and her teammates more chances to put training into practice and take step after step in their development.
“It’s not even necessarily trying to impress because you want to do that every game but it’s another game of football and you have to treat every game the same and we work on things all throughout the week and throughout the season and you can’t just waste the opportunity to play a game against another team, they’re all as important, it’s a process and all part of the puzzle.”
Five goals to the good before the break – including a four-minute hat-trick from Angela Addison – there could have been the willingness to take their foot off of the gas after the break but Quinn is insistent, professionalism will always come into play.
“It’s standards, it’s giving people minutes – like I said, giving the kids the chance –, we were comfortable and we could have just chilled then but you know, no one wants to play like that everyone is ambitious and wants to set standards for themselves so come out and do better than the first half.”
As for Tottenham who’ve fast risen to the top tier and are still acclimatising to their first season as full-time professionals with a host of new players in the squad, there is clear progression both on and off the pitch.
“It’s been good, we’re a new group of people all together but there’s a common goal, we all want to do well and play good football so it’s been good and football comes with ups and downs but for the first season in a full-time environment, all the girls have been doing really well and everyone’s really enjoying it.”
Having bounced from a few different clubs over the last few years, Quinn – who some might remember from her time representing England in beach soccer – sees Spurs as the next challenge in her career. In a mixed squad of older and younger, experienced and inexperienced players, the 26-year-old defaults into that slightly older category that will bring about more responsibility but is just what the attacker is looking for.
“For any squad, especially one that’s new to a full time environment you need to have that, you need to have the young ones with their tenacity and their energy and you need to have the experience, people who’ve done that and won titles. So you need to have a good mixture of them all and quite scarily I do see myself as a slightly older player now, so I think that’s good for me, I needed a challenge, to step up and have people learn from me and I think that’s pushing my game and that’s good.”
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