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Women's Football News
SSE Women's FA Cup - Road to the Final
Our southern tie takes place in the South West and is a Devon-Cornwall clash. Bideford, newly promoted to the Premier Division of the South West Women's League, will be at home to St Agnes, who were one of their opponents in the Western Division last season.
Bideford Ladies began their football journey fifteen years ago in 2004. It all started when Vanessa Saunders took on the role of player, coach and manager to get a group of interested girls playing football (including her daughter). After a few games, they joined the Devon County Women's League Division One and competed at this level up until 2012-13 when they finished second and gained promotion to the Premier Division. Vanessa stepped down and took on the role of Chairwoman at the club.
In 2016-17, Bideford won a historic treble - the league, League Cup and Devon Supplementary Cup. This winning season resulted in promotion to the South West Women's League Western Division. In 2017-18 they finished a credible fifth but the following campaign was better and resulted in promotion to the Premier Division for the 2019-20 campaign.
Manager Roger Bonaparte and his assistant Jorgi Usher start their fourth season in charge and are looking forward to a new season and challenges at Tier 5. This is the club's second year in the SSE Women's FA Cup and being part of a national cup competition.
Half the team, including captain Sam Ayres and vice captain Caz Parsons, have been long serving members. The club enjoys the use of the same pitch and facilities as the men's first team, which is rare in the women's game. However, Bideford AFC is a community club with strong links to the community.
Some players in the squad have over 200 appearances! Beth Ellis led the goalscoring charts with an incredible 28 goals from 20 games in the 2018-19 season.
St Agnes AFC Ladies were formed seventeen years ago by Martyn and Mandy Kimmins and the club entered the Cornwall Women's League. They began to establish themselves as one of the strongest teams in the league and were crowned Champions in the 2013-14 season.
After finishing as runners-up the following season and third in the next campaign, St Agnes then lifted the title in 2016-17 with an unbeaten record and repeated the feat in the next season, winning 19 of their 20 league matches and finishing seven points clear of second placed Mousehole.
In 2018 they took up the option of promotion to the South West Women's League for the first time and entered the Western Division. They also launched a Reserve squad in the same season.
The first season with two teams was very positive, although the first team suffered some serious injuries which affected squad numbers and results but they fielded two teams for every fixture with the firsts finishing fifth and Reserves being runners-up in their respective leagues! Pre-season has been exciting with new faces joining for training and both teams are really looking forward to the new season.
St Agnes, who play at the club's picturesque Enys Parc ground, are managed by Vicky Fisher with Jenna Borlase and Zoe Arundell-Lethbridge as captain and vice captain respectively.
The club hosted their 11th Annual Charity Tournament for Cancer Research UK during pre-season and a challenge event with proceeds for Soccer Aid.
Bideford (from): Zoe Stock, Phoebe Baker, Shona Ardy, Sarah Short, Lyndsay Gist, Carleigh Boyce, Tracey Cross, Kate McKane, Sam Ayres, Rohana Little, Becky McMullin, Leanne Cording, Harleigh Bowskill, Emma Stoneman, Caz Parsons, Beth Ellis, Poppy Cloak, Hannah Neve, Ria Penfold, Anna Beer, Pippa Beer, Alice Beresford.
St Agnes (from): Lyndsey Mayers, Jenna Borlase, Beth Willshaw, Amy Brooks, Laura Hockett, Charlotte Sparkes-Bond, Zoe Arundell-Lethbridge, Stacey Tonkin, Abbie Carveth, Laura-Beth Medcalf, Mollie Dring, Lexi-Lou Riley, Sarah Fisher, Imogen Gibbons.
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