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Hard work pays off for Wheathampstead
 Women's Football English County and other Leagues News - 11 May 2018
English County and other Leagues News - Hard work pays off for Wheathampstead - 11 May 2018 - Women's Football News
Wheathampstead are the winners of the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire League Division Three, a reward for two years of hard work.
Manager Joe Montgomery takes up the story behind their success, saying: "I have been coaching for eighteen years and got into women's football about six years ago with Kempston FC but moved on from there and coached at a few other clubs but in 2017, was without a club. This was my own decision but had five ladies who wanted to play football and wanted me as their coach, including my wife Maria who was the one who mentioned contacting Wheathampstead.
"I soon set up a meeting with the chairman Andy Ellis, who welcomed the idea of a women's football team in Wheathampstead so myself and my wife started the recruiting stage for a new team and whilst this was going on, we entered the London Colney women's five-a-side league and won it.
"Wheathampstead as a club are fantastic - they purchased us new kits (home and away), training equipment and training facilities. We started building the team before our season started in September and with the months passing by, I was getting worried as I had a few players that were new to football but getting better, although I was missing a striker. I had an email from a girl called Sophie Adams who said she was looking for a new team and that she played county football years ago, but just wanted to play football to enjoy the game now, and she also had some other players - a midfield and a defender - well I just won the lottery! They came down for a training session and the rest is history. I had it a full team ready for the season, the first ever ladies football team in Wheathampstead's village history. We started slowly in the beginning for our first season but ended in mid-table, so a good first season.
"We recruited some new players for our second season and my wife Maria, who plays on the right wing and is the fastest player in the team, had to change her position to centre back for most of the season but was so quick and strong, she was unstoppable until November when she broke her collar bone in a game against Welwyn Pegasus but only six weeks later, was back playing.
"Sophie Adams, our striker, got 40 goals this season, not only is she the top goalscorer in our division but the whole league. Another key player, Annya Lindsay who plays at the back with Maria, Naomi, Jess and Luisa and they play so well together, in midfield Maria, also Charlotte who is very versatile and will play anywhere, playing some key roles. Jenna, Muss, Sam, Mary and Libby have been key to the success in midfield, getting the ball to Sophie and also scoring a few themselves.
"We started the season as we finished the last and Bedford were the team to beat we had them at home first and won 2-1. It was very close all season and we had two games to go, playing a team near the bottom of the table. We lost the game, so it meant we were level on points with Bedford and we were trailing on goal difference by three, so we had a plan to score as many as possible in our last game against Bedwell Rangers. We were 3-0 up, all going well, then I got word Bedford had scored and we then conceded a penalty. Half time, our striker Sophie came off injured so my wife Maria went up front with Libby. Then we heard that Bedford were drawing, then it was goals goals goals! Libby got a hat-trick, the game ended 9-2 and Bedford lost 3-2. The celebrations started and we had won the league.
"We are still looking for a sponsor but have been rejected by local companies. The ladies need tracksuits and jacket for the winter months but we will keep trying, We are also recruiting for our new season as we are losing some players to university. But we are a great team and things are looking up."

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