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Women's Football News
Newly promoted FA Women's Premier League club Yeovil Town have received massive recognition for the way they conduct themselves on and off the pitch, with the Football Association announcing that the club has been awarded the national FA Respect Gold award for the Women's Football pyramid, with special mention for the way the club incorporates their commitment to playing the game with Respect into their 'Bills of Rights for spectators'.
This award is the culmination of a lot of hard work from a lot of people at the club and recognises the good and right way everyone connected with the club conduct themselves. It is a very proud day for the club.
Speaking today, Chairman David Mills could not hide his delight at the club receiving such an honour. "This is fantastic news," he said. "It a huge credit to our highly professional first team managers Nigel Williams and Sarah Lawler, as well as their assistant manager Chris White, all the players and our Club Secretary Ali King. Everyone involved with Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust and Yeovil Town FC also deserves part of the credit too as they give us fantastic support."
Mills went on to highlight the efforts of Rachael Edwards (first team Captain and Club Welfare Officer). "Rachael has been key to every step forward we have made in the areas of Respect and fair play," he said. "In these matters Rachael has been given authority that exceeds that of any other club official, including me, and everything we have achieved in these areas is largely down to Rachael and her total commitment.
"What we have done at Yeovil Town Ladies is not complicated - we have simply moved to make Respect and Fair Play the heart of our club, not just something that is nice to pay lip service to. Whatever the size of your club all that is required is to make a leap of faith. Even though we know no club can be perfect, we have not been afraid to set out in writing and publicly exactly what standards we aim to achieve."
When asked of an example of this approach in action, Mills highlighted the club's Fans Bill of Rights:
"One key manifestation of this is that, inspired by the projects of Mark Bradley of the Fan Experience Co in the US, in 2011 we introduced a Fans Bill of Rights which sets out exactly what fans (home and away), officials and players can expect of us. Not many clubs in Britain (men or women) have introduced something like this. Despite the high standards it sets, we also made a point of widely publicising upon its launch and a link to it can be found on our Club Website, at www.yeoviltownladies.com.
When asked to summarise how Yeovil Town Ladies FC perceive Respect and Fair Play, David Mills' response was immediate. "Is it not always easy to fully commit to the Respect and Fair Play as sometimes you do have to make difficult calls," he said. "However, we have found that, as with being successful on the field, if you commit totally to being proactive in the area of Respect and Fair Play, the rewards and results are huge and you end up with a more professional club that is not afraid to aspire to be the best in everything it does."
The Football Association sent a film crew to the last home game of the season against Havant & Waterlooville last Sunday. They not only interviewed managers and players, but also filmed the game. This footage will be shown prior the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 5th May. Chris White and Ali King White will be at the stadium to receive the award on behalf of the club.
Club Welfare officer Rachael Edwards was also highly delighted with the award, and said that it was a reflection the commitment of the club to the Respect campaign.
"To receive a National FA Respect Award is a huge achievement and something we as a club are extremely proud of," she said. "The club is extremely proactive in ensuring the environment created for players, coaches, parents/spectators and officials one which enthuses having fun and enjoying football.
"David Mills our Chairman has been fantastic in creating a very popular social media section to our club, with Twitter, Facebook and Google +. Our website is managed by our secretary, Ali King, who does a wonderful job to keep the website fresh, up to date with various stories about all the teams, the club and the community. I believe all these things help to portray our positive image as a club.
"I have been involved with the club now for just over six years and I love this club - every person involved, particularly behind the scenes for the running of the club are very passionate and committed to making the club the best it can be, and this award is a real team effort!! As a club we have had an incredible season, and this award is just icing on the cake!"
Joint first team manager Nigel Williams said that it is an exteamly proud day for everyone within the club, adding: "I am very proud of this achievement for the club managers, other committee members, coaches, players and parents associated with the club. It highlights our professional approach to the game and supports the FA strategy in grass roots football."
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