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The team started the season with an influx of youngsters that came from the Development Centre and the open trials that were held pre-season. They also welcomed Vicki Fannon onto the coaching team to work alongside Manager Rob Bonney and Head Coach Si Parnell.
They started the season with a victory but then suffered an early setback with a defeat in their second game. The coaching staff were waiting to see how this young team would react and they did not disappoint as they put together a run of results that put them in contention for the league.
It all wasn't all plain sailing as the team suffered more than their share of injuries to key players but they all pulled together and grew stronger as a group. The standout performances of the season were a 4-1 home win against their closest rivals Bideford Ladies and a 4-3 victory over Alphington Ladies. The latter game saw them take a 3-0 lead, Then have to replace their injured keeper at half time with an injured outfield player. Their opponents took full advantage and drew level at 3-3. During the second half they lost a second player to a season ending injury, but the team showed real character to go on and score the winning goal through prolific scorer Gabi Alphous.
Once more, Gabi has shown her predatory prowess by finishing top scorer with twenty goals this season. Manager Rob Bonney believes that this was the game when the team came of age and gave them the belief that they could go on to win the league.
The season was certainly a roller coaster ride with the team having to deal with a huge injury list, six goalkeepers were used and seven centre half partnerships The team was captained by Alex Hugh for the third season and once more she led the team by example throughout.
Being a Development side, they also had players being called up into the first team squad, which gives manager Rob Bonney and the coaching staff of Si Parnell and Vicki Fannon a great sense of pride. "It shows the system is working," he told Women's Soccer Scene. "We have girls coming through the Development Centre set up and into our team and if they show willing and want to improve, they will get the the chance to perform in the third tier of ladies football."
Winning the league and the Development of these youngsters would not be possible without a team of unsung heroes that work tirelessly behind the scenes. These people are so vital, raising funds, securing sponsorships and organising the smooth running of PALFC. They also realise that the players have a massive commitment to the club, with the travelling to training and games. All of this would not be possible without the understanding and help of partners and parents. For this, they are grateful.
It is an exciting time at Plymouth Argyle Ladies Football Club and they are determined to keep the club moving forward.
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