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Women's Football News
Bolton Wanderers are enjoying a great season so far in the Premier Division of the North West League and with six games left to play, are still unbeaten and lead the title by five points.
Bolton Wanderers Ladies FC, although associated with its parent club it is very much a grassroots team playing on park pitches since first established in 1986. Success for the club in most years has been retaining its status in the North West Women's Regional League Premier Division. The club was taken under the umbrella of the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust (BWCT) in 2010. This was to allow the club to cement its place at the heart of the Bolton community. With the merger came some changes which includes the support of the parent club in the form of playing kits and facilities. The club's partnership enabled them to call the Eddie Davies Academy home for its fixtures.
The prime objective of the club as with most at this level is to provide opportunities for players wanting to play in organised and competitive football without the final league standing being the ultimate challenge. However the competitive nature of players is that they want to win matches so the club looked at a plan to expand the amount of teams so as they could provide football across a broader spectrum of ability and individual competitiveness. At the same time the trusts work in the community included the introduction of junior training evenings with further led to the creation of teams.
The partnership with BWCT has grown over the past four years due to the inclusion of its women and girls football program. Premier League Girls is a national project that is currently funded by the Premier League and Football Association to engage more women and girls in football no matter of their ability. The project allows some of the senior players to support in terms of coaching and player appearances during sessions.
At the start of season 2015-16, the club invited the players of a successful local under 18s team to trial and effectively amalgamate with the previous year's senior players. These trials allowed the club to create a development team to support the first team which had not happened in recent years. The majority of the new players were locally based players. Without any expectancy whatsoever the first team had an incredible season, losing only two league games and finishing second to an unbeaten Crewe team.
The club's progression over the past three seasons has become a major factor that has led to the upturn in performances, other factors that could be accountable are; increase in players challenging for places, training partnership with little lever sports center allowing the team to train twice per week.
The 2016-17 season saw BWFC Ladies start with three Open Age Teams as the youth teams started to progress through. Player recruitment consisted mainly of ex-players looking to return to the club, excited by the upturn in fortunes and the facilities and training on offer. As it stands, the First Team are unbeaten in the league and top of the North West Premier Division. This has been no easy position to achieve as all the games have been very competitive and some results have been extremely close indeed. This has wetted the club's appetite in search of its first promotion and to gain FA Women's Premier League status. Hopefully this can be achieved in the short term but in any case, that is the future plan of the club, no matter what occurs this year.
The club's second team has also seen an upturn in fortunes and sit third in the Lancashire County League. The third team has acquitted themselves well in their first season at open age level in the Greater Manchester County League. The Under 17s have already secured the league title, being unbeaten in the South Manchester Girls League. What has been of great delight has been the emergence of the youngest members of the whole club appearing for the first and second teams. The most recent success of that nature was 16-year-old Missi Chappell scoring two goals in her first start at first team level against Altrincham in a recent cup match.
The club's profile has been lifted due to the match reports appearing in the local press as well as via social media. The squads were invited to appear at half time and be introduced to the crowd at half time in the recent BWFC v Gillingham game at the Macron. They were also invited to be a part of the panel with their male counterparts at the Kick it Out event for schools.
BWFC Ladies want to be the premier club of choice for girls in the town and the club's name does carry great influence, however it does provide for all abilities. Alongside that we do appreciate the efforts of a number of clubs in the area in providing girls and Ladies football including Chew Moor Brook (CMB) who also compete in the North West Premier Division, Academy Juniors (Division One North), Bolton Lads & Girls Club (Greater Manchester Division One) at open age as well as all junior clubs affiliated to the Bolton and Bury District Junior Football League, including Bolton's partner club Oxford Grove.
The women's and girls' game is very healthy in the Bolton area and surrounding towns and districts and the growth is extremely exciting for everyone.
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