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Women's Football News
Southampton Saints are looking forward eagerly to the 2007-08 season.
The Club, originally under the name Red Star Southampton WFC, was formed in 1979. The team played in the Home Counties League, and later in the Southern Region League, which they were winners of in 1991 and subsequently became one of the founder members of the inaugural Women's National League. The team also won the Women's FA Cup 8 times between the years 1971 and 1981.
This will be the 13th season that the Club has played under the name of Southampton Saints. In its present form, the Club still maintains a link with Southampton Football Club and wears the Saints replica kit. As a Club they aim to provide quality football in a safe and fun environment for girls from the age of 8 years through to the senior age group.
The first team begins its campaign with an opening game at home to Forest Green Rovers on Sunday 26th August. They will play in the South West Combination following their relegation last season and the aim is for the team to gain promotion back to the Premier League.
Consequently, much rebuilding has been happening at the Club during the close season. Tracey Wheeler, who has held numerous positions on the Club Committee including Club Chairperson and Secretary, is now the First Team Manager. Saints have signed new players who have gelled well with existing stalwarts, especially at the Winchester City Friendship Football Tournament held in July.
The reserve compete in the Hampshire County Women's League Division One and finished a very creditable third place with a young team. They, and their manager Derek Holloway, are aiming to build on this achievement this season. In Division 3 of the same league Adam Lee and Colin Parfitt won the title with their equally young team.
Peter Horne's under-15 team had a fantastic season, winning the treble of Under-15 League title, Hampshire FA Under-16 Cup and the Hampshire County Women's League Under-15 Cup. They hope to repeat this success in the coming season which will see most of the girls play for the last time at junior level before competing in an adult league the following year.
The under-14s also won the Treble and the Manchester International Cup. This was an especially pleasing achievement, as the majority of the squad were actually under-13. Manager Mick Quinn is confident that his young team will continue to perform well this season in the under-15 league.
In addition to their 11-a-side squads, the Club has teams at under-14, 12 and 10 competing in the Winchester District Girls Football League. All the teams had very worthwhile seasons.
Richard Caddick successfully developed players from his six-a-side under-14 squad to play 11-a-side football this season. After a slow start, Barry Fry steered his under-12s to a very creditable third place and Jan Fry's under-10s were particularly successful, winning the League and Cup trophies. This league has been invaluable over the years, providing girls of 8 years upwards with all the football experience they need to begin their playing careers.
By entering teams throughout these leagues, Southampton Saints supports the pyramid of women's football leagues and continues to strive to enable each player to play at the highest possible level according to their ability.
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