Round-Up: Women’s Football
The set backs, successes and stars of the women footballers’ season.
End of Season Review
The Barclays Premier League draws to a close this month, but not the Eastern Region Women’s Premier League. CUWAFC, who started playing their season back in mid-August, still have a massive fixture backlog that will keep them playing until the end of this month. As exam season nears, Blues footballers will be competing with cricketers for playing space as they try to close in on the League title.
This marathon season has been one of highs and lows: Leesa Haydock led her team to victory in the Varsity match in Oxford, but the team went out in the first round of the League Cup (they were finalists last year), and suffered cup final heartache in the County Cup, when they lost to a last minute goal.
The captain for the 2010-11 season, Maisie-Rose Byrne, was elected last Friday, but has a heap of problems to deal with before she even starts her first game as skipper.
Firstly, her squad will be without a coach as Lee McGill, their current coach, is going off to ply his trade in the USA.
The loss of McGill to the US will be sorely felt. The players all speak of his dedication and commitment to the team, ferrying them and the kit about, and spending hours coaching on the training field.
Secondly, her team will be without a pitch as the F.A. have ruled will not be able to play at Fenners. While it was voted the third best cricket ground in the country by the ECB, it lacks the permanent dugouts and pitch barriers that the F.A. demand of pitches. None of the college pitches are suitable either.
Despite these setbacks Leesa Haydock, the outgoing captain, has fond memories of the season. She told the Tab that ‘I remember I was still smiling a month after we won Varsity, probably because we only recovered the trophy from Oxford about three weeks later. The team has had a great spirit, and I’m very proud of them. We had a great time together, whether we were winning or losing, and I wish Maisie all the best. I hope she doesn’t fulfil her promise to make the Blues wear flowery kit next year though…’
The team will also be losing several key faces this summer: Catherine Murphy, Helen Bellfield and Grace Parker, as well as star striker Kate Robinson, who will be in Germany for the year. But, seeing as girls’ football is the fastest growing sport in the UK, Byrne will be confident of recruiting some more talented freshers next year.
On course to come fourth in the Eastern Region Premier League, the Blues will surely build and improve next season, and will hope to make a serious title challenge.
Final Positions in the Eastern Region Premier League