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Hard work pays off for Walton
 Women's Football English County and other Leagues News - 3 Jun 2019
English County and other Leagues News - Hard work pays off for Walton - 3 Jun 2019 - Women's Football News
Walton Casuals have lifted the Greater London League Division Two North title after a year of hard work and planning.
Chris Barker was appointed as Manager with Alex Meehan as Head Coach, with Duncan Saunders as his assistant and Aidan Melvin took charge of the reserves. Steve Baker takes care of Fitness and Conditioning and Mark Holliday undertook the role of Goalkeeping Coach.
"So the seed was planted, and with the introduction of reserve team manger Daren Drage, a brilliant team of coaches were carefully selected and appointed to come in and contribute to form the first ever senior ladies' teams. Things moved fast, and by June we held the first ladies trial day which is based on players from 16 years and above. The response and attendance of trialists was tremendous, with players of all abilities, experiences and skills.
"At Walton Casuals Ladies, it is our policy that coaching staff encourage all players to develop and progress," Alex Meehan told Women's Soccer Scene. "The interaction of all the ladies training alongside each other enhances their performances individually, There is no separation in this ladies section, we are as one. This method has proven to be successful. Players performances are monitored every week and recorded.
"In May 2018 I was approached by Mr Duncan Saunders, a director of Walton Casuals FC," explained Chris Barker. "He had an idea! Which was whether I would be interested in forming a ladies senior section at the club. After meeting with himself, the board of directors and viewing the facilities on offer, it showed fantastic potential and a great future for ladies' football.
"We held a further trial day in July and the total of players that attended was over 100 girls. This gave Walton Casuals Ladies a great start and platform which to grow.
"Being able to select two teams from trialists, a ladies first team, and a ladies reserve team which helps feed and support the first team, the plans started to come together for a successful season ahead."
The ladies section now has a great squad of 40 players with an average age of just over 18 and is filled with superb talent. Both teams are doing extremely well in their domestic leagues and cups. With success comes publicity which creates attraction, and the Walton Casuals Ladies management and Walton Casuals FC board are already planning for the next season.
"The Ladies section will be introducing a further team, a brand new development section for girls. This will provide the perfect pathway for girls in football to progress and develop their ability. The development section will offer players the time needed to fully development and progress, helping and transforming players whom have their sights on becoming a first team squad member for the future.
"As the first team manager and it being Walton Casuals Ladies' first ever season, we had to set our targets high from the start. Being a new team and under FA rules, like any new team, we have had to start at the bottom of the football tier. After some meetings with the Greater London Women's Football League, which we are currently playing in, we managed to jump one division to Division Two. This was our starting point of the very first Walton Casuals Ladies team, the first team!
"Some may say that we are in the wrong league, but there are new teams being formed every year so you never know what you may be up against. Complacency can be your biggest enemy. But this brilliant bunch of girls take things seriously, they are extremely competitive, and we all take every game by game, focusing on our structure and patterns of play.
"We encourage all players to try things which helps their personal progression, team development and targets. With Mark Holliday developing the goalkeepers, Aiden Melvin, Steve Baker working on squad fitness, Alex Meehan organizing the squads administration and coaching, the future is going to be amazing.
"The football is great here at Walton Casuals, the players are a pleasure to coach. Their attitudes and personalities are outstanding. May they all get what they thoroughly deserve.
"Our captain and leading goalscorer Kelly-Jade Whelan has missed the last 5 or 6 games due to her expecting her first child, Kelly from all the team we all wish you well for the future. Emily Bernard has taken over the captaincy for the remainder of the season and has lead the team admirably. We have been crowned league champions with games to spare in our first season together, considering we only formed late last year.
"During our first season together we have had some amazing results, winning a few games by large margins including a couple of 10 nils and a 20 nil, we have had success in the cups beating Crystal Palace Development in two and Watford in another, unfortunately we lost in a Cup Final to a very well organised Comets team 2-1."

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