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Phoenix rise to take the title
 Women's Football English County and other Leagues News - 5 May 2017
English County and other Leagues News - Phoenix rise to take the title - 5 May 2017 - Women's Football News
AFC Phoenix emerged as the victors in a very tightly contested title race in the Greater London League Premier Division which remained in the balance until the very last game of the season.
However, the season got off to a slow start for the eventual Champions as they picked up one point from their opening two matches. "It was not a great start," admitted captain Catherine Ennis. "Summer is usually a challenge as people are still on holidays and we didn't have a large, fit first team squad. However after those early stumbles, we went undefeated for most of the season.
"Some games were very physical and we lost players to injury The squad did well though and new members were able to step up and fill gaps for injury or absence."
AFC Phoenix then went on an impressive run by winning 11 of their next 12 matches and drawing the other. However, defeats in the next two games to AFC Wimbledon Development and Queen's Park Rangers Development - against whom they had battled for the title throughout - were a huge setback.
"Solid wins over a very organised Colne Valley and the home victory against Hemel Hempstead, the same weekend as Wimbledon did us a favour in beating QPR, were important for us, "added Catherine. "The latter was probably our best performance.
The title race ended up going to the final game which saw us defeat Regents Park Rangers. It was a very hot day but there were a lot of friends, family, teammates, squad mates who turned out in force to cheer us on!"
The team is managed by Farouk Menia with Catherine Ennis and Gabby Romeo wearing the captain's armband during the course of the season. Christy Haragan is leading goalscorer with 22 goals to her name, while Elizabeth Wicks and Saskia Philp also got into double figures.
"The entire team have played their part," says Catherine. "Also a mention to defender Zoe Beargal for her regular supply of half time oranges, Li Steiner for her organisational effort, Gavin Murphy, coach of our reserve team in supporting player movement up to the first team and friends, family, partners who turn out to watch us - even in the rain!"

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