Belles’ Bright lights: Buckley praises young strike pair

Jessica Sigsworth of Doncaster Rovers Belles Ladies FC. Picture: Tom Dulat - The FA/The FA via Getty Images.
Jessica Sigsworth of Doncaster Rovers Belles Ladies FC. Picture: Tom Dulat - The FA/The FA via Getty Images.

BELLES boss John Buckley has backed his teenage strike duo Millie Bright and Jess Sigsworth to ruffle a few more Super League feathers.

Bright was on the scoresheet to help Doncaster record their first win of the FAWSL season at Lincoln last week.

And she linked up with ever-willing local girl Jess Sigsworth to give England defender and newly appointed national team captain Casey Stoney a difficult night at Ashby Avenue.

The pair’s general play and physical presence proved to be the highlight of an impressive team performance against the Lady Imps for Buckley.

However, the league’s youngest strikeforce are by no means guaranteed to start against FA Cup winners Birmingham in the Continental Cup on Sunday (2pm) - with Buckley keen to rotate his tight-knit squad.

Buckley said: “The performance of the two young girls up front at Lincoln was frightening.

“Millie’s very strong for her age and she loves to mix it with defenders and give them a hard time within the rules of the game.

“Her and Jess were dropping in when they needed to and they looked like they really understood what we wanted from them.

“The pair of them have got a lot of potential and they certainly let Casey know she was in a game.

“Jess just needs a goal but she caused Lincoln lots of problems and the two of them were a handful.

“It’s hard to single people out because it was such a good team performance but we’ve switched to more of a 4-4-2 formation recently and it was pleasing to see the two girls up front linking up so well.”

Auckley girl Sigsworth, 17, and eighteen-year-old Bright still face an anxious wait to discover if they will get the nod at Birmingham this weekend.

“We might try and play some of the girls that haven’t been involved as much this weekend,” said Buckley.

“It was a really good performance at Lincoln but it’s important all the girls get some game time under their belts.”

Beth England, Tanya Oxtoby and Julie-Ann Russell, who all came off the bench at Ashby Avenue, could come in contention for a start on Sunday in what is effectively a dead rubber.

Belles cannot reach the semi-finals of the competition after defeats to Bristol Academy and Everton in their earlier group games

Naomi Chadwick, meanwhile, has been named in a 30-player squad to attend an England Under 23 training camp later this month.

She is hoping to shake off a rib injury to keep her place at left back this weekend.