Aston Villa Women take on Man Utd in 'wet-look' Castore kit despite player 'concerns'
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Aston Villa's women's team took on Manchester United in their Castore home kit despite a week of controversy over the 'wet-look' shirts.
On Sunday, Villa kicked off their Women's Super League campaign by hosting United. However, much of the talk before the game was regarding what shirt the Villa players would be wearing.
Indeed, players from both the men's and women's team complained to kit manufacturer Castore over the design of this campaign's shirt, claiming the heavy material increased their sweat levels and weighed them down in matches.
Ahead of the game Ward said: "[They have] similar concerns to what the men have.
"It was highlighted early in the pe-season on the men’s side and backed up by the women's. As far as I’m concerned it’s over to the club and Castore to deal with.
"Certainly my focus has to be the weekend. My focus is making sure the players are focused on the weekend. The one thing I will say is the club have been absolutely superb in these last few days with constant communication of 'how can we help the players? What will make them feel better?'
"There’s a genuine care from the football club so from my point of view, the players feel that, we feel that. Our focus solely now is on Manchester United."
Numerous publications claimed on Friday that Villa are in the process of cutting short their deal with Castore, which was only signed in 2022.
Unai Emery's men's team wore the kit during the club's 2-1 defeat to Everton in the Carabao Cup and 6-1 victory over Brighton on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Ward's players have worn the strip for five of their six pre-season friendlies, ahead of the United game.
A Castore spokesperson said: “There has been some media speculation about a potential issue in the football kit supplied by Castore to Aston Villa Football Club. We are working closely in collaboration with the club to address this issue as quickly as possible to meet the standards we expect. We would like to thank the club for their patience and support to date.
“As a proud new British brand, we always hold ourselves to the highest of standards and strive to do everything we can to constantly improve the performance of our products. This means addressing any customer concerns with promptness and humility.”