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Women's Football News
Portsmouth have been boosted by several new signings as they get into their pre-season preparations.
Among the new additions are three familiar faces, with Leeta Rutherford, Charley Wilson and Sadie Blakely all returning to Portsmouth for the forthcoming season.
Midfielder Rutherford has left Brighton to rejoin Pompey, while striker Wilson and goalkeeper Blakely have been playing for local rivals Havant & Waterlooville. Striker Jemma Tewkesbury - one of the top scorers in the Premier League Southern Division last season - has also joined the Blues, arriving from relegated Yeovil.
Manager Vanessa Raynbird was delighted to have secured the quartet for the 2011-12 campaign. "It's excellent to have these players on board," she said. "They will all add to the quality that we already have at Portsmouth. Charley's a very busy mobile striker, who works tirelessly and likes nothing more than scoring goals.
"Leeta is a very calm and collected player with great vision and the ability to make something out of nothing. Jemma was the second highest goalscorer in our league last season and struck all three past us in our 3-3 draw and that was with a relegated side. She's a very composed forward, with exhilarating pace.
"We needed another keeper after Louise Worsfold's semi-retirement and Sadie fits the bill. She was with us as a youngster and looked a good prospect then, so it's great to have her back."
The quartet are just four of more than a dozen new arrivals. Midfielder Sophie Turrell has joined Pompey after being posted south with the Army. She has previously played in the Premier League Northern Division for both Tranmere and Curzon Ashton.
Tamara Webb, Shannon Sievewright and Laura Ingram have all been signed from the Hampshire Centre of Excellence, while Niamh Rawlings and Amy Baker have joined Pompey from the Wiltshire Centre of Excellence.
Other new arrivals include Abby Picton, Emma Pinner, Tiffany Taylor, Victoria Summerfield and Daisy Sims.
Vanessa said: "It's very encouraging to see so many new faces, we lost a few players to the WSL towards the end of last season and we needed to bolster our squads this year.
"There is a lot of quality here, and although some of the girls are young I'm sure they will be knocking on the door of the first team. Along with Jemma, Leeta and Charley, we will certainly have a lot more versatility and strength in depth for the season ahead.
"I'm going to have some tough decisions to make but I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead."
Paul Askham, who has been with the club as first team coach for the past two seasons, has decided to move on to coach Elite Youth players "We are very grateful to Paul for all the time and commitment that he has shown over this period and wish him all the very best for the future," added Vanessa.
Portsmouth have wasted no time in appointing a new first team coach in Neil Sherlock. Neil has his UEFA B Licence and working towards his A Licence. He has coached men in the past at Croydon in the Ryman South and more recently for Bognor Regis Town in the Ryman Premier League.
Vanessa said: "We are delighted to have Neil on board. He has a vast amount of experience in coaching at a high level in the game. He has already taken a number of pre-season training sessions and the girls have responded extremely well to him."
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