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Women's Football News
Solar Ladies have been celebrating winning the Division One North title in the East Midlands League and promotion to the Premier Division next season.
"Solar Ladies FC, East Midlands Division One North Champions" is not a sentence anyone anticipated when the season began. The club was playing only its second season in ladies senior football after coming up from the Lincolnshire Girls and Ladies League where, in their last campaign, they finished runners-up. This achievement is the reward of lot of hard work both on and off the pitch and a real team spirit from what is a very young squad of players.
At its core, the club owes much of its success to its off field backroom volunteers who include managers Andy Thornton and Glynn Cooke, both with ample experience in coaching the beautiful game. With them. Gary Summers and Nathan Stockwood provide much needed additional support in many different areas that all go a long way to keep the club running smoothly.
At the beginning of the season the club added a little more experience to the team in the signings of Clare Pitcher and Sue Green who have played in higher divisions and both brought added quality to a keen and talented young squad.
The season started off with a fine 3-1 home win against Alfreton Town and the season continued with two more home wins before an away victory at Mansfield, the team had started to find its feet at the new improved level and were now starting to make their mark on the league. The ladies suffered their only defeat of the season away to Sandiacre Town of the Premier Division in the Cup in what was undoubtedly their worst performance of the season.
Solar soon bounced back with two victories before playing Notts County away and in what was their best performance of the season, came away with a morale boosting 3-0 win. The season continued with two hard fought draws at Sleaford and home to local rivals Grimsby Town. The team's form continued and its successful pattern with the title finally confirmed in a very hard fought 1-0 win over Mansfield.
The managers at the club feel that every squad member has played their part in the success with keeper Beth French keeping six clean sheets and defenders Lauren Baumber, Taylor Cuthbertson, Jayde Sleight, Rachel Turner and sisters Charley and Clodagh Summers all proving vital to Solar Ladies being the tightest defence in the league. Along with having the meanest defence in the league, Solar Ladies have scored sixty three goals so far with strikers Toni McHamilton, Lottie Soar, Nat Aird and Claire Pitcher sharing 47 goals between them.
Throughout the year the team has played some very attractive football from back to front with the managers preaching total football which has made the girls use possession of the ball to keep a tight defence and create plenty of chances. The combination of Sue Green, Daniella Whitworth, Ellie Casson, Charlotte Townsend have helped win the ball back quickly and provide plenty of ammunition for the forwards. Midfielder and captain Lisa Cromey`s versatility and leadership qualities have been at the forefront of the season, her never say die attitude and professionalism in giving 100% no matter where she has played, has been an inspiration for others to follow.
Despite having fixtures in the league and cup to fulfil, the club are already making plans for next season and appreciate the step up is going to be a difficult but not impossible one and are already looking forward to the challenge.
The club is extremely fortunate to have great support from players' families and friends and this goes a long way in ensuring the success on the pitch, Solar are also very grateful to their fantastic sponsors Unite the union and Arkema resins and coatings and hope to continue in their relationship with them.
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