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Netherton look to continue rise

Netherton United have been on an incredible journey recently. Although formed in 2003, in 2019 the team was on the verge of folding with only seven players left after a number of members had left disillusioned with how the club and team were being run.

Chairman at the time Tony Blood appointed Lee Martin, manager of the Under-15 Girls team. Together they developed a club strategy and growth plan which, despite Chairman Tony Blood stepping away in 2020, Lee has continued to implement. This plan has seen the seven ladies players grow to 40 in number and the creation this season of a Developmemt Team.

The first team have had a phenomenal rise from the ashes of 2019 (hence the team’s nickname The Phoenix’s). The 2019-20 season did not conclude due but 2020-21 saw them win the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership League and reach the Second Round Qualifying, their furthest position in their history, where they lost out away to Long Eaton United.

This season they have an 100% record since starting in August, nine wins in nine matches and they have made history again by being in the Second Round of the FA Cup, against - Long Eaton. They are one of only two County League teams, along with Clapton Community, left in the competition at this stage.

As a Tier 7 side, against a National League Tier 4 outfit, the challenge is immense. The Phoenix's are aware of the ability of Long Eaton not just because of last year, but the Notts side beat fellow National League side Peterborough Utd 4-0 in the last round.

Manager and Chairman Lee Martin told Women’s Soccer Scene: 'The atmosphere in the club in incredible, we're just delighted to being in the Second Round and have already surpassed all expectations. As a result there’s no pressure on us, we're happy to go and just enjoy the experience on Sunday."

Megan Stickland, Club Secretary and captain, added: "It is fantastic for the Ladies to have got to this stage in the FA Cup. As a squad, we are really relishing the moment of playing in the Second Round and continuing to create history for this amazing Club. The Ladies have shown immense character and determination to beat high league oppositions in the previous rounds and we have earned the right to be where we are.

“We go into Sunday’s game with our minds focused, ensuring we leave everything on the pitch and give 100% and walk off with smiles on our faces. All the Ladies are very excited for the fixture and the prospect of getting into the Third Round."   

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