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Women's Football News
Norton & Stockton Ancients are celebrating the end of a very successful season.
They gained promotion by finishing as North East League Champions, won the Durham County Women's Cup and this weekend, they are also representing the North East in the National Futsal Championships.
Kate Maguire, who is player manager of the Futsal side, has been taken aback by the team success. "We just can't believe it," she said. "We've had a great season and top it all off we are through to the finals at the Olympic Park.
"Futsal has comparisons to five-a-side though it is much quicker as you only have four seconds to get the back in play and you need a lot of stamina to play it. Standards locally are very good.
"The whole team are very proud to get to the finals especially as it isn't our original game - we are just going to go there and do our best."
Becky Stevenson, who plays for both sides, added: "The standard of the opposition this season has been tough, especially against Hull. It's been a real team effort and we have gained back to back promotions too."
Kate is relishing the chance to face Middlesbrough next season. "The league changes might see a game against them," she said. "I don't think we have ever been in the same league so it will be interesting to see what they play like against us."
Mick Mulligan, Norton's manager and Chairman, is proud of his team's achievements. "It's been an incredible journey and we have always aimed to be as professional as possible at Norton and have other teams look up to us in how we are run.
"You can't deny the benefits of the Women's Super League has had on the game. Players that have been at our club at the age of 14/15 have reached England team and are still in contact.
"We have always had that friendly rivalry with Middlesbrough but see ourselves as an equal - our pitch benefits from full time ground staff and is noted on its quality on opposition.
"Everything we've done, we've done ourselves and I'm lucky that the players I have pay to play as this provides us with the finances to invest in kit. Since gaining promotion, winning the cup and the futsal finals there has been a huge uptake of contact locally asking about attending a match, and more importantly looking to support the team."
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