Aston Villa are aiming to complete the signing of a goalkeeper on an emergency loan, manager Carla Ward revealed this morning.
Speaking in her press conference to preview this Sunday’s home game with Brighton in the Barclays WSL (6.45pm kick-off), the Villa boss confirmed to She Kicks that their Dutch number one Daphne van Domselaar will miss the game after sustaining concussion in a collision during last weekend’s Manchester City match.
With New Zealand international Anna Leat starting the midweek win over Durham in the Conti Cup, Villa were without a goalkeeper on the bench, with youngster Sophia Poor unavailable.
“We’ll be looking to secure an emergency loan for a goalkeeper today,” said Ward. “I won’t tell you who that is yet but that should be sorted by tomorrow, so we’ll have added cover on the bench, because we didn’t on Wednesday.”
Villa go into the Brighton game with multiple outfield concerns as well.
“(Alisha) Lehmann is still a doubt, she came back from international break (with Switzerland) with a knee injury, which we’ve been managing; not sure if she’ll make it into the squad or not. Same with Dan Turner, she’s been struggling after City with a niggle, so again, question mark whether she’ll make it.
“Georgia Mullett is a question mark; she had a bit of an accident and has been suffering with whiplash. Simone Magill, hopefully, will be back, but again, has had to be managed.
“You probably saw midweek we only had four first-team players on the bench.”
The 5-1 win over Championship Durham did, however, see a debut off the bench for youngster Lydia Sallaway. On the 16-year-old’s introduction, Ward said: “We haven’t seen too much of her because she’s so young she’s still at school; I wish I was!
“But she’s come up (to first-team training) a few times and she’s impressed, as has Martha Macphail, who was on the bench; she’s been brilliant. So, we knew that there were a couple of players restricted on minutes; Lucy Parker was coming back, she’s still restricted on minutes.
The boss makes another double change, and hands a first team debut to Lydia Sallaway! 💜
— Aston Villa Women (@AVWFCOfficial) December 13, 2023
“We had a couple out there with knocks that needed to be managed, so it was the perfect opportunity to throw her in there; she was happy, to say the least. Our academy have done a tremendous job in the last few years and we’ve brought through an awful lot of talent; they do such a good job that it allows us to tap into that.”
After winning two and losing seven of their opening nine WSL games, Villa are looking to end 2023 by leapfrogging opponents Brighton with a win that would lift them to 9th in the table. As they bid to make up ground in the final few months of the season, Ward was asked about the possibility of new signings.
“Every manager’ll tell you they want to add in January; I’m no different, of course I want to add in January. Whether I can or not, I don’t know yet.
“I think that’ll be dependent on, as well, the squad cap. We definitely want to get one or two in.
“I think the summer will be a big window for us but we want to try and bring in if we can. This is not the easiest window, because where we’ve been quite clever in the past is identifying players in positions that we need, that probably aren’t playing at other clubs and need to get into (national-team) squads.
“So, we kind of used that last time. Obviously, it’s the Olympics coming round, but it’s not necessarily the same as the Euros or World Cup.
“I think this is going to be a really interesting window, I really do, but not one with that much activity.”