Friday 15th May 2020 (Match Date)
SWLFC 1st Team 2019/20 Season Report:
Last but certainly not least we complete our season reviews with a report on the 1st team..
Manager Dave Higgins reports on a very unique season (well 75% of a season).....
Well what a year, preseason went well with the senior section in probably the best shape it’s ever been in, the 1st team had finished last season in 3rd spot and we managed to keep the majority of the squad together with the aim of promotion this time round. I must say they’ve been awesome this season with a never say die attitude and a belief and team spirit not seen in a long time.
Unfortunately the abrupt end and the decision to null and void the season was a blow for us. At that point we were sat top of the table and 6 points clear, there was still 8 games to play but the team really believed this was our year. We all took the decision on the chin and we will go again next year and prove that this season wasn’t a fluke. It did mean however some of us having to put plans of retirement on hold for another year!
With just 8 teams in the division, the NERWFL took the decision to have all teams play each other three times and we started the season off with a great run of results, 5 wins on the bounce including wins against Altofts who pipped us to runners up spot last season and York who also had a 100% record going into our game. We had gotten into the habit of giving teams a head start and having to come from behind to win but we soon put that right. Highlights included the return of Demi West just 6 weeks after giving birth to Ella and scoring with her first touch back on the pitch, also the return to the club of Jess Birtles and Phoebe Davis all who have greatly added to the squad.
The seasons League stats showed:
Played 13, Won 10, Drawn 1, Lost 2. with the least goals conceded in the division.The two losses came in games against Altofts (who we had beat 2-0 earlier in the season) and Bridlington which we put right the second time we met in what was one of the performances of the season. Away on their 3G in horrendous conditions with just 11 players able to travel, we lost Jodie Stancill (who has had a great season) after 25 minutes with concussion and played out the final hour with just 10 players. The game was won with a 30 yard belter from Channy Rymer another player whose had one of her best seasons too.
We had four players join us and then leave for varying reasons during the early part of the season and our thanks go to them Ruby, Liv, Molly & Nicole. Long standing player Emily Darwin missed most of the season due to injury but did help out our Dev squad on a couple of occasions.
Talking of long standing players, Captain Sophie Eyre, Emily Higgins and Emma Otley (Who have all been a part of the club for over 15 years) have played this season like 18 year olds and that includes Jodie & Channy too, I’m sure after some of the battles they will have felt more like 48 though!
Sophie Trotter at centre back never fails to collect plaudits for her performances and even managed to smile a few time this season too. We lost Fay Cassidy at Christmas who set off to travel the world but will be back upon her return (see you preseason). Another player to come through the ranks and cement herself in the 1st team was Lucie Spendiff who as also been great this year.
A mention for two more players, firstly Jess Morrison (the baby of the team at just 17) who travels from out of the area to play for us and at the time of the season ending was 2nd in the leagues scoring chart with 22 goals, no mean feat at this level, and also Kelly Biney who’s been brilliant since she joined us from the Reserves towards the back end of the season, I won’t upset her by revealing her age but she first played for SWLFC 1st team around 20 years ago with her daughter Brooke currently playing for our Reserves.
Thanks also to the Reserve players who have also featured occasionally this season, Liv Mellor, Courtney Livesey, Laura Gilmore and Dina Sarayreh.
I’d like to say a massive thank you to a few people, Michelle Stephens, our 1st team coach (UEFA B) and goalkeeper. As our keeper she has made a massive difference to the team and been awesome in goal. As coach she’s always barking out instructions from her goal area, luckily we have had her partner Nic helping out with the warm ups and also translating for us! Michelle has also been a great help to not only me but the team and also our other squads and managers who have enjoyed her training sessions.
Thanks too to Reserve and Development managers Kyle Wright, John Hammond and Gary Awdas for their help and support as well as the real gaffer “Our Jules” who keeps me in check, is always there for not only our team but everyone else at the club and not forgetting her role as league secretary looking after all the girls and women playing football in South Yorkshire.
Finally a thanks to Courts (Chan's partner) who is present at all our games (whether she likes it or not!) as well as our hardcore supporters Terri, Sarah and Scott travelling around the County to support us.
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