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Stockingford AA Pavilion have had a fantastic season in Division One North of the West Midlands League and last week, they secured the league title having not lost so far this season.
Having been promoted as Champions of their County League, this is their second season in the West Midlands Regional League. Last season's runners-up, it has been thrilling to go one better. Piv Ladies look forward to competing in the Premier Division next season but still have three league games and a cup semi final to undertake before that happens.
This season saw the knowledgeable Dave Cartwright take over as Manager whilst the previous management team undertook administrative duties. The Club also appointed the highly qualified Scott Parsons as Coach and he and Dave have done a fantastic job in taking the team forward. The Club Boot Camp run by the players themselves has been another success and Piv's physical fitness and stamina has proved crucial in games. A shining example is winger Jessica SÚvellec who ran the Coventry half marathon before last Sunday's game.
The vastly experienced Maz Hayward again captained the team and, as ever, Maz has been inspirational. Her call "Maz's Up!" is the pre-cursor to many a thumping defensive header. Maz is ably assisted by vice captain, Lois Smalley, who stated: "The team for me is my family away from home - it's my release from the stresses of work and life and I know I'm guaranteed to smile after being with them. The "Green Army" runs through me - like a stick of rock, if you cut me open you'd read Green Army inside. I love every single player and all involved in our team for the support and belief they have in us. I feel lucky to be able to play with such a great group of people."
The youngest player is 18 and the eldest 36-years-old, so there is a good mix of youth and experience. Stockingford has a regular playing squad of 17 players and fifteen of those have contributed to the 89 league goals scored during this season's campaign so far. With 25 league goals to her name, current leading scorer, Sharni Turnbull would be first to admit all goals are team goals.
In a season of many excellent performances, two particularly stand out. Two goals behind away to Leek Town, Stockingford fought back strongly to win 4-2 and following a long period without a game because of the Christmas break and weather, the 2-1 home win over Tamworth was significant. However, testament to Stockingford's eleven-player attacking philosophy were the 8-2 win at home against Stone Dominoes and 8-3 win away versus Shrewsbury Juniors, both very impressive as those teams are quality sides. However, the best of all was Sunday's home win over Leek Town during which the points needed to win promotion were achieved.
Lois Smalley recounted that the "Funniest moment this season was probably when we played Cross Bar Challenge against a U11s Boy's Team we train next to - it all rested on our non-playing staff to win it for us and in the end they did; phew!"
With a Club name like that, it is understandable that the team is also known as the Green Army and Piv Ladies! They are often asked what does the double A stands for; of course there are lots of suggestions! However, it is Allotment Association; not because they play on a vegetable patch - far from it, they are lucky enough to play on the best surface in the area as long as it doesn't rain too much. The AA emanates from the name of the social club at which Stockingford play and which, during the last three seasons, has adopted them and provided significant support from its members who, now, really enjoy women's football.
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