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Women's Football News
East Bergholt are jointly managed by David George and Darren Hogg, with Dale Vince as Coach.
"All three of us work tightly together on all matters from recruitment to picking the team on a Sunday and formations and style of play," Darren Hogg told Women's Soccer Scene. "We are as one on our philosophy, we aim to be a possession-based football team but above all getting the players to enjoy their football.
"After our success last season we had a difficult decision to make. Dave and I also managed our Under-16 girls team, who also won the league, and we were looking to carry on progressing them and take them into an Under-18 league. If the ladies took promotion into the Eastern Region League, we would be unable to manage both sides this season which would have been so sad as the Under-16s had progressed so much over the season and we could see the potential to blood the girls into ladies football as the season progressed. We put it to the ladies that if they could give us another season and show the hunger and commitment from last season, we could see the club stronger and more prepared in the future. Luckily for us, the ladies were all with us and our vision and all stayed.
"As for the Suffolk League this season, we had six new teams coming in including a number of large county clubs starting a ladies side. This is so good for the ladies game and not before time.
"The season started brightly for us, winning our first four games before coming up against Needham Market, who had also started with a 100% record. We did not start the game well and were 1-0 down at half time. After a great team talk, which included input from players and management, the ladies stepped it up in the second half and won the game 3-2, the goals coming from Jess Clark, Georgia Lockerbie and Ellie Nitsche. This result seemed to raise the ladies and we won our next two games against Woodbridge and Brantham, who both had aspirations for the title.
"We carried on our 100% record until March, when we lost 3-0 to Needham Market. This was by far our worst performance of the season and showed we were in a fight for the title. I cannot fault the ladies' attitude, as we all sat down after the game and went through where it went wrong and what needed to be done to get back to the levels we are used to. It was from this meeting we decided to change our formation, one which had been so successful, and the ladies worked so hard in training to get this right.
"The change from 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-2 gave us more attacking thrust and the winning run started again. We then won all our remaining league games and were crowned league champions on 14th April.
"In the cup, we progressed through to the semi finals by beating University of Suffolk and Woodbridge Town. In the semi-final we played a Brantham side, who for the last few seasons have been at the top of the table. After a great game we came out 3-1 winners and were through to the final where we met Needham Market. It had all the ingredients for an epic final. The top two teams in the league who have both had good seasons and were looking to round it off with a cup win.
"The game did not disappoint. With a crowd of over 400 at Hadleigh United, it was a superb advertisement for ladies football in Suffolk. Needham took an early lead, but the ladies' heads did not drop and they played with an intensity and commitment which surprised even us. Annie Northwood scored our equalizer just before half time and we went into the break in the ascendancy. If we thought the first half performance was good, the ladies went out in the second half and played Needham off the park. They did not give them any time and space and took a deserved lead through Ellie Nitsche after 51 minutes. We could not find the third goal which would have put the game to bed, Ellie hit the bar and Isla Romer-Lee hit the post. The whole team performed so well and even though the score was 2-1 we never looked like conceding. The final whistle brought wild celebrations from players, management and supporters and ended the season with ladies becoming double double winners, the first team to do this in Suffolk. Our captain Deben Faiers was presented with the cup and league trophies on the night.
"Ellie and Isla, who were part of the cup final squad, have come through from the U18's this season along with four other players, who have helped us win the league. This proves the decision we made at the end of last season was the right call and the girls have come in and fitted in like they have been playing ladies football for years. Annie Northwood ended the season on 40 goals and was the league's top scorer.
"The whole team is such a great bunch and make our job easy. The togetherness and team spirit is something I have never seen in football. As Dave and my daughters are no longer playing for the club, we both could have left the club but with such a lovely bunch, both ladies and Under-18s, it is a pleasure to be part of and seeing the enjoyment when we win games and trophies makes all the hard work worthwhile."
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