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Women's Football News
F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
Yeovil Town's excellent Cup run continues as they knocked out another National Division side, goals from Stacey Pearson, Laura Bray and Jade Radburn earning them a 3-0 win over Portsmouth and a trip to Leeds United.
After seven years playing in the Yorkshire & Humberside league, the 1997-98 season saw Leeds gain promotion to the AXA FA Northern Premier League. After consolidating and adjusting to National League football for a couple of seasons they then achieved promotion as champions of the Northern Premier League, the same season also saw them play in the semi finals of the FA Women's Cup for the first time. They then gained promotion in 2001-02 to the FA National League where they finished a very credible fourth.
2003-04 saw the team once again in fourth place, and the highest placed team outside London. In 2004-05 the team finished fifth, while the following season saw the team achieve its first appearance in the FA Women's Cup final.
2006-07 was an up and down season with Leeds topping the table over the Christmas period and getting through to the Premier League Cup Final, when they narrowly lost 1-0 in the 90th minute against Arsenal and eventually finished fifth in the league.
Over the summer of 2007 the youth teams amalgamated with the Leeds United Girls Centre of Excellence to form one organisation feeding into the open age team. The club had several members of the first squad who had progressed through from the youth teams, including England regulars Gemma Bonner and Jess Clarke, Sophie Walton, Olivia Thackray and Mel Sutcliffe.
Rick Passmoor was appointed Manager in July 2007, and brought in new signings including Steph Houghton, Carly Telford, Katie Holtham and Jade Moore, while the partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University brought in players such as Emma Higgins from Northern Ireland. In 2008, Carla Cantrell and Ellen White arrived, while the summer of 2009 saw the arrival of Nat Staneff, Laura Bassett and Remi Allen.
The blend of home grown talent with regular England internationals saw the club have its most successful period ever. As well as the Premier League Cup win against Everton in 2010, and a second FA Cup Final appearance in 2008, the club was made Club of the Year in the 2010 Leeds Sports Federation Awards and finished fourth, just three points and a few goals away from Europe. Rick Passmoor deservedly collected the Premier League Manager of the Season award from the FA.
But the successes of 2009-10 came against the backdrop of the end of the partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University, the club having its funding and Super League application withdrawn in January 2010, just two weeks before that Premier League Cup Final win.
In July 2010, the club re-adopted the Leeds United Ladies name when it was taken under the wing of the Leeds United Foundation, but is now independently funded by local businesses and people - such as our Chairman, Steve Russell - with a genuine interest in women's football. Reserves manager Gemma Grainger stepped up to run the first team, but with results going against the club, Rick Passmoor came back for the second half of a difficult transitional season. Despite having a young and inexperienced squad, the club eventually finished fourth in the eight-team league and won the County Cup for the sixth time in the past ten years.
One of the people Rick brought to the bench was former coach Chris Welburn, and in the summer of 2011 he was appointed manager, bringing Sarah Danby, Emma Johnson, Billie Murphy, Amy Turner and Vanessa Leat to the club. Sadly, Chris left the club after their most successful season - second in the National Division by one point and runners-up in the League Cup - to concentrate on home, work and study commitments.
Andy Burgess, assistant to Rick in 2009-10 took over the helm in the summer of 2012 and has brought in experienced players such as Danielle Sheen and Rachel Lee, as well as bringing on new talents such as Abi Lee and Abbie McIver as the club looks to build on its previous successes in this and future seasons. Andy is assisted by Claire Robinson and Luke Turner with Nick Dingwall as Goalkeeping Coach and Amy Turner (not the player) is physio. Off the field, Steve Russell is Chairman and Gill Handley undertakes the role of Secretary along with hard working duo Gary Taylor (General Manager) and Jamie Gillham (Media/Matchday). The team is captained by Clare Sykes and Carey Huegett is leading goalscorer.
Leeds will go into the match at Farsley as hot favourites, but will be mindful of their recent Premier League Cup meeting in which they won 1-0, and know it will be far from an easy tie.
Leeds United (from): Jules Draycott, Emma Lipman, Stacey Emmonds, Rachel Lee, Hayley Sharp, Billie Murphy, Danielle Sheen, Clare Sykes, Carey Huegett, Olivia Thackray, Tanya Rich, Nat Staneff, Rebekah Bass, Faye Birkby, Abbie McIver, Georgia Robert, Abi Lee, Carly-Ann Walsh, Gail Pennington, Erin White, Emma Coates.
Yeovil Town (from): Bethany Howard, Emma Brazell, Rachael Edwards, Nadine Grogen, Terri Trowbridge, Rosie Williams, Stacey Pearson, Kirsty Whitton, Charlotte Hannam, Charlotte Tibbs, Jade Radburn, Laura Wensley, Michelle Keehan, Leah Jennings, Shannon Osman, Grace Rapp, Laura Bray, Jodi Cornwall, Abigail Locke, Justine Lorton, Kayleigh Sage, Katie Cook, Chelsea Spencer.
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