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Yeovil Town have been boosted ahead of their first ever season in the top flight with two of their squad committing their futures to the club, both on and off the pitch.
Lady Glovers defender, Nicola Cousins continues her commitments to the club on and off the field of play. Not only has Cousins extended her contract going into Spring Series, she has recently been appointed as Yeovil Town Ladies Football Development Officer & Sister Club Programme Officer. Nicola also carries on her duty as assistant coach to the Girls Elite Programme for educational partners Bridgwater and Taunton College.
The Welsh defender made the most appearances throughout the previous season and scored six goals, with one being the important winner of the final game in the 2016 season to seal promotion and win the WSL 2 trophy. Cousins is a favourable member of the squad and gained recognition of this by being awarded the 2016 Main Sponsor Award.
On re-signing, Cousins said: "It's fantastic to be resigning for Yeovil again this year, I am very excited for the 18 months and look forward to the challenges we will face.
"Being involved in a club that strives for success on and off the field is a privilege to be a part of.
"I'm looking forward to playing against world class players and to show the league what we are about as a club, we will compete in every game."
In her role as Sister Club Programme Officer, Nicola leads on the affiliation where local grassroots clubs and schools can have access to a whole range of fantastic benefits for a set fee. Her role as Football Development Officer role consists of adhering with the FA's target to double participation rates and fan base by 2020 by leading with YTLFC's newly formed Female Football Community and Participation Programme.
"The role gives me a chance to create relationships with the local community and schools, but also to hopefully inspire girls to play the game I love so much and most importantly watch them develop into female footballers." she said. "The feel and buzz around the clubs and schools is fantastic and we are inspiring them to not only play football but also to come along and support YTLFC for the upcoming season.
"Not only will this increase awareness of girls and women's football development but also the club itself and build our community projects on the back of our success of 2016."
Yeovil-born Helen Bleazard rejoined the team in 2014 and has been on the continuous journey of achievements with the Lady Glovers ever since.
Helen played a key part to Yeovil's 2016 league promotion success by being a real quality team player and having the capability of performing in a range of positions. Bleazard made 20 out of 21 appearances throughout the duration of the 2016 season, being the joint second capped player for Yeovil, she hopes that this is something she can sustain going into the top flight of WSL 1 football.
Alongside working full time for Yarlington Housing Group as a housing officer, she heads up Yeovil Town Ladies FC youth section by having the role as the Youth & Community Officer and assisting with the coaching of the Under-12s and 14's. Helen's responsibility is to ensure that the development of the youth section continues to thrive.
On signing her new contract, Bleazard said: "I am very proud to be staying with Yeovil moving into the WSL 1 Spring Series. I never thought I would be in WSL 1 with my home town club, so it's a fantastic occasion for everyone here."
"My role as an experienced player is to help the team on and off the pitch, not all players have played in WSL 1, so I need to help them and share my experiences with them."
Helen and the team will kick start their WSL 1 challenge by facing Notts County away in the Fifth Round of the SSE Women's FA Cup on Sunday 19th March. Looking ahead to this match, Helen said: "I am excited for the FA cup game which will be a great test against Notts County.
"We have played them three times before and the last game we improved drastically against them, so we're hoping to cause an upset."
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