With ten returning players already confirmed for the upcoming season, Durham have given new deals to Tyler Dodds and Nicki Gears as Lee Sanders squad continues to take shape for 2017.
One of many in the Durham squad to have started life out at Sunderland, 20 year-old Tyler Dodds joined up with the Wildcats mid-way through the historical 2016 season, featuring prominently for the WSL 2 side after making the move. A solid performer, Dodds’ sterling work in attack prompted a call-up to the England U20s.
Speaking on her new deal with the north-east club, Dodds expressed her “delight” at the renewed deal, already looking forward to kicking the Spring Series off next month, eyeing more time on the pitch and the experiences that will go with it.
The mood around the club is a positive one as they look to kick on for a fruitful 2016; Dodds stated she has a “good feeling” about the upcoming season, confident of a good showing from her team, the Wildcat will be looking for a top three finish in the Spring Series, promotion a real possibility for the northern most club in WSL 2.
Having been no stranger to manager Lee Sanders when she joined, Dodds ticks all the boxes for the Wildcats, with Sanders keen to praise her “hunger” to improve, with realistic ambitions and a drive to “achieve”.
Another of the younger players on the books at Durham, Sanders is optimistic of continuing to develop the attacker’s abilities throughout the course of the year.
After a flying debut season with Durham in 2015, goal getter Nicki Gears’ 2016 came to an early end before the mid-season break when an ACL injury ruled her out for the rest of the year.
With just four games on the slate for the season, Gears’ started the long road back to recovery but finally in the tail end of her rehab, Gears is looking forward to getting back out on the pitch and picking up from where she left off with the Wildcats.
Aware of the severity of her injury, the attacker will be looking to use the Spring Series to get some minutes under her belt and get back up to speed before kicking on for the 2017-18 season.
Like her teammates, Gears will be looking to carry the strong form shown in the 2016 season into the new season later this year, hoping to get “stronger” and “go onto great things”.
Sanders was left to rue the injury that took Gears out of contention for the majority of the year but is thrilled that the attacker will be back for the Wildcats in 2017 and is hopeful that she can slip back into the team and build on her “fantastic” work for Durham in past seasons.