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Stevenage Ladies recently won the Eastern Region League Premier Division title and will be promoted to the FA Women's Premier League next season.
After having finished in fourth place in each of the last two seasons, Stevenage went all the way this time by finishing on top of what turned out to be a two horse race between themselves and Billericay Town. The title was clinched with one game still left to play, following a 3-2 victory against Great Wakering.
A delighted Stevenage player manager Josie North paid tribute to her team's efforts and told Women's Soccer Scene: "At the start of the season, we set ourselves the target of winning the league and gaining promotion. We started really well, winning our first eight league games which gave us a great platform to build on.
"At the start of the new year we had quite a few games called off due to bad weather, which gave Billericay the chance to go ahead of us in the league. The biggest game and performance of the season was away at Billericay, we won 1-0 and put in a really solid performance, I'd say that was the catalyst for us to start believing we could win the league. Since then we have been chasing Billericay down with our games in hand.
"In the last few months we have had a few bad results, namely the loss to AFC Dunstable, but we've shown great character to overcome those and it was good to know going into the Great Wakering game that whatever the result was in their [Billericay's] last game of the season, if we got three points then the league would be ours.
"The game against Great Wakering wasn't easy, they put up a good fight and we didn't perform in the first half - I think nerves got the better of us. I spoke to the girls about how we could improve at half time and like throughout the season, they dug in and looked like a different team in the second half. We thoroughly deserved the three points and the league title."
Josie is assisted by Coach Andy O'Neill and the team is captained by Alex North. "'Pie', as she is known, has showed real leadership this year," said Josie. "She is versatile and can play in midfield or defence. She's extremely committed on and off the field.
"Our top goalscorer is Donna McGuigan who has 19 goals this season. This has been Donna's highest scoring season, she has really stepped up this year and scored some important goals for us.
"All season, the players have been so committed and worked incredibly hard to win this league and I'm so proud to have achieved it with all of them."
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