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St Austell storm through Premier Division
AFC St Austell have taken the South West Women’s League Premier Division this season, winning the title at the first attempt.
Assistant coach Ben Cooper takes us through their superb achievement and title success:
“Going into the season, we really didn’t know too much about any of the teams other than MAP, Torquay and Bideford as they are fairly local. The other teams were relatively unknown to us, so we just approached each game with the mindset that if stuck to our game model, we would be able to compete with anyone. Our season in the Premier Division was a tense one to say the least. A lot like Man City and Liverpool, both us and Ilminster barely blinked all season and it went to the final day. They really did push us to the wire, along with Sherborne Town.
In terms of important results, both of our games against Ilminster were vital. We drew 3-
The league postponed a few games over Christmas due to covid which meant that on 21st January, we played our first game in six weeks at home to Royal Wootton Bassett. With 75 minutes on the clock, we were 4-
On 20th March, we struck a 92nd minute equaliser away to Torquay after the hosts played nearly 70 minutes with ten players, having had their keeper sent off early on. Without that point, we would have finished second.
Then, with perhaps our best performance of the season, we beat Ilminster 3-
Our top scorer for the season was our centre forward Charlotte Whitmore who bagged 35 in all competitions, and winger Lucy Solloway also netted 22. Our manager is Simon Parnell and his assistant is Ben Cooper. Both joined the club together in 2019 after Simon approached the chairman about creating a team.
Our skipper is Kaitlyn Harris, who has led by example all season from centre back. She is our absolute rock. We are very lucky to have her. She is extremely popular and well respected by both her team mates and the management team. A special shout out must go to our vice captain, Chevonne Johanning, who has also led by example all season.
Obviously, the players and management team are the ones who got the job done on the pitch this year, but there are multiple people throughout the club who have made it all possible:
Firstly, the Chairman, Jason Powell, who has backed the team through thick and thin over the past 3 years. His army of volunteers around the club are unsung heroes-
Also, as previously mentioned, we have an incredibly young team and the support of the players’ families has been absolutely super this season. We have travelled over 1,000 miles on away trips this season and they have been with us every step of the way. We have a real family feel to our club and that is really special to us-
AFC St Austell: Isobel Berks, Kayleigh Brown, Millie Buist, Lily Chapman, Emily Clemes, Shania Fenlon, Maisie Frickleton, Morgan Gibson-