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Busy summer for C & K Basildon
 Women's Football News 19 Aug 2014
C & K Basildon are determined to go one better than last season as they make their bow in the FA Women's Premier League on Sunday. 
The Essex side narrowly missed out to Queen's Park Rangers in the South East Combination title race and club secretary Peter King told Women's Soccer Scene that they are setting their sights high this time around in South East Division One.
"We are most certainly not resting on last year's laurels and merely assuming that, as runners-up last season, we will walk it this time," he said. "Quite the contrary, we know that the new entrants (Crystal Palace and Bedford Ladies) will be ready for the new challenges and we know that the other teams will have strengthened their player base.
"Essentially we are seeking two strong players for every position, or a good squad of players where a number will be able to play strongly in a number of positions. We have also followed this reasoning with our reserves/development team that have been accepted into the Reserve Section of the FA Women's Premier League where they will face good strong opposition.
"Overall, we have signed 13 new players, all of great quality and strength and all good squad/team players. We always seek out great team players, for this club has a very tight knit social base of which we are rightly proud. We also now have a base of four great goalkeepers which will be essential to our progress throughout the season and will introduce great competition in that specialised area."
Preparations for the new season have been thorough and Peter is confident that the hard work can reap its rewards. "The two teams total 43 registered players of which five have left for the USA to further their various studies under football scholarships," he said. "All of these players either played for us last year or trained with us pre-season and played in friendlies. This meant that we kept them fit out of their season and also attended to some niggling injuries that some had inherited from their previous clubs - all of our players get free physio treatment from our on-site chartered physio Paul Smith.
"We have also invested a further near £4,000 on the playing surface at our Selex Club home ground and have also invested in two polycarbonate ten-seater dugouts (they are actually second hand bus stops, but very adequate for football!).
"We have had four pre-season friendlies for the first team and two for the reserves, who do not start their league programme until 7th September, with excellent results. The first team beat Acle 11-0 and West Ham 3-2 before falling late on to Charlton Athletic (2-0). Last Sunday we beat Sawbridgeworth Town 8-1. The reserves drew 1-1 against Hutton and reached the Final of the Essex FA Women's Charter Standard tournament where they lost on penalties to Barking."
Off the pitch, C & K have also been busy with additions to their management staff and committee. "John Hinz, who assumed the reins from me last season, remains as First Team manager assisted by former Southend United manager and player Steve Tilson and Lee Harrison, who is current West Ham goalkeeping coach," says Peter. "We have recruited Paul Miller, who previously managed Hutton, to manage the reserves/development team which is an excellent acquisition for us. Jemma Bell is also operating as coach here, following on from her excellent season last year with this team.
"Very recently I offered the Chairmanship of the club to Chris Singh (former Hutton chairman and former women's development officer for the Essex County FA). With the club growing and developing and with the demands of FA Women's Premier League football, the club needs a wise head that can guide it in the future and there is no-one better than Chris. I am delighted that he has accepted the role and I know that this will quickly be seen as a great move by C & K Basildon.
"The one sadness was that our captain Jenny Brown-Wealls moved to Chelmsford to be nearer to her family, so after seven wonderful years of being a part of our club and reigning over a substantial amount of success we lost her services. Her boots will never be filled but we think we may have found a couple of players who will come fairly close to her skills. The sadness may have been compounded with the possibility of retirements from two senior players but thankfully they have decided to carry on, much to everyone's relief.
"It is all very exciting and the ladies are really 'chomping at the bit' to get going. We still aim to be the first 'non-branded' club to get to the WSL!"

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