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Women's Football News
SSE Women's FA Cup - Road to the Final
Woodley United FC was formed in 2011 as a result of four Woodley-based football clubs and Berks & Bucks FA recognising that the provision of women's and girls' football in the town would be better provided by one club dedicated to this purpose rather than the existing clubs each having one female team to satisfy FA Charter Standard needs but no player progression policy.
During its time as a female club, Woodley United FC saw success on and off the pitch. This included coaching in schools, supporting the Woodley Community Carnival inter-school tournaments, being presented the Wokingham Borough Sports Council annual award for Service to Sport in and the Community in 2014, winning four Berks & Bucks FA County cups and the Southern Region Women's Football League Cup.
Such were the benefits of working together that two of the town's oldest clubs, Woodley Town FC and Woodley Hammers FC in conjunction with Woodley United FC saw greater opportunities for the provision of local football if the clubs were to amalgamate. As such a "One Woodley" steering group was created in April 2014 and has overseen proceedings so that from 2015 - 16 the three clubs will be playing under the Woodley United FC name and be one of the biggest clubs in the county with approximately forty youth and adult teams for male and female players together with a thriving mini kickers pre-school section.
The objective of the club is to "offer everyone in our community the opportunity to play, develop and grow through football, regardless of race, gender, age or ability" and in so doing provide community based football that is the envy of the footballing world." To help with this objective the club is a FA Charter Standard Community Club.
The club provides football from mini-kickers (pre-school), youth through to adult (male and female) and veterans and has gone on to further be presented the Wokingham Borough Sports Council annual award for Service to Sport in and the Community in 2015 and 2017.
Woodley will be playing in Southern Region League Premier Division in the 2018-19 season after a two-year absence, following winning the Division One North title last season. The team also progressed to the third qualifying round of the SSE Women's FA Cup last season, the furthest in its history.
The team is managed by Marc Surtees and Nuno Antunes is Coach, who won the Football in Bracknell Manager of the Year award for 2017-18 and received the award from Sky Sports News presenter Tom White in July 2018. Marc was also recognised by Woodley Town Council in April 2018 for his services to female football when he was presented with a Woodley Town Council Citizen award.
Ellen Surtees is club captain and the leading goalscorers last season were Rosie Page-Smith, with 23 goals, and May Hamblin who scored fourteen times. Goalkeeper Nicole Haines also kept 10 clean sheets last season.
Abingdon United Women's - or #AUWFC as social media dictates - formed in the 2017-18 season as a branch to Abingdon United who have been around the scene for a lot longer. They play their home games at Northcourt Road, the previous home of Oxford United Women.
The team are sponsored by the well known energy drink Carabao who have been a fantastic support function in the success at AUWFC. In the first season #AUWFC secured the treble, winning the Thames Valley Counties Women's Football league Division One by only dropping three points all season, they also secured the TVCWFL Cup and the Berks & Bucks Junior County Cup. United applied for promotion to the Southern Region League and were granted this in June, and they were also accepted into the magical competition that is the FA Cup.
In 2018 the women's set up partnered up with nearby Abingdon Youth Football Club Girls section to help support the growth of the women's game in the area as well as supporting young girls to develop and most importantly enjoy playing as well as watching football.
The management team for the 2018-19 season consists of Joint Managers, Adam Wood and James Thorpe, supported by coaches Megan Thorpe and Gina Ianniello-Phillips. Captains are unchanged from last season as Abbie Smith (captain) and Nell Boxall (vice captain) look after those leadership affairs for the upcoming season.
There were some extremely tough decisions to make over the summer, however the club managed to hold on to a lot of key members of the treble winning squad from last season as well as adding some talent ahead of the 2018-19 season. The women's team are extremely grateful to those working behind the scenes at the club, from Chairperson Debbie Blackmore and John Blackmore the club secretary/groundsman/registration sec/all round football guy, all the way through to the people that work the bar and tea hut on matchdays. Without these people, Abingdon United wouldn't be what they are today.
For many within the squad, Sunday will be their first time into the FA Cup with the incentive of a next round tie with Oxford City who many of the squad and management have connections with previously.
What should be a well contested tie is being played at Woodley United FC, 2pm kick off.
Woodley Utd (from):
Amie Benton, Alice Cooke, Charley Evans, Nicole Haines, May Hamblin, Molly Lambourne, Rebecca Lowes, Natasha Masters, Sophie Measham, Rosie Page-Smith, Ruth Pearson, Jodie Penny, Madelyn Sawyer, Clara Stringer, Ellen Surtees, Eva Thomas, Faye Ward, Holly Wilkins.
Abingdon Utd (from):
Sophie Kirby, Steph Carrick, Marisa Chamberlain, Charlotte Deeley, Beth Dunbabin, Sophie Grimson, Tee Koudoua, Kelly Talbot, Nell Boxall, Amy Chivers, Sarah Harrison, Abbie Smith, Jane Younger, Heather Young, Molly Lygo, Beth Hawtin, Kiera Isaac, Amy Pipe, Katie Totton.
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