‘We’ll be looking to secure an emergency loan,’ says Carla Ward amidst injury crisis

Addressing the media on Friday morning ahead of Aston Villa’s Barclays Women’s Super League match against Brighton on Sunday, Carla Ward offered an update on the hefty injury list that could see as many as five first-team players ruled out.

It comes just a week after Ward herself was struggling with a flu-like illness that made her ‘very ill for about a week, up until probably a couple of days ago to be fair but you don’t get days off in football so you just have to suck it up and get on with it and stay away from people!’

The players were affected by a stomach bug during their last WSL outing against Manchester City – but Ward claims she was unaware of this before the match, only finding out after broadcast cameras zoomed in on players clutching their stomachs.

‘We had a bit of a bug that I’ll be honest, I didn’t know about until Sky told me because they’d zoomed in on a few players so I had to go and find out what was going on! We had a few players with a bug before the game but it didn’t stop them performing, which is credit to them,’ she explained.

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But while the illnesses seem to have subsided, injuries have taken over – with the goalkeeping department heavily affected as the club move to secure an emergency loan. ‘Daph [van Domselaar] took a hit to the head in quite a nasty collision, struggled a little bit after the game and she’s gonna be out with concussion,’ she told reporters.

‘Obviously our third keeper is still recovering as well so we’ll be looking to secure an emergency loan for a goalkeeper today – 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 that we didn’t have on Wednesday.’

‘[Alisha] Lehmann is still a doubt,’ continued Ward, ‘she’s come back from international break 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 [Manchester] City with a niggle so again, question mark as to whether she’ll make it at the weekend.’

‘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, she’s had to be managed.’

‘You probably saw midweek [in the Conti Cup] we only had four first-team players on the bench so yeah, there’s probably question marks. Daph’s definitely out, Alisha and Dan are almost certainly out but we’ll see, and then question marks over Simone and Georgia as well.’