Back row: Paul Walshe (S&C coach), Jordan Stannard (S&C lead), Hannah Duncan, Jenny Drury, Frankie Gibbs, Paul Walker (manager), Megan Hannah, Ariana Fleischman, Danielle Boyd, Dave Cole (asst manager).
Front row: Suzanne Davies, Jade Elphick, Nicholle Smith, Niamh Stephenson, Naomi Cole (captain), Holly Walker, Michelle Ward, Toni Smith, Faye Rabson, Rosanne Fine.
Not pictured: Mike Gardner (first-team coach), Paul Woodhams (goalkeeper coach), Sam Piper (physio), Lauren Callaghan, Kemina Webber, Hayley Fowle, Lisa Richards, Holly Currier, Aston Worsfold, Megan Stow.
Welcome from first-team manager, Paul Walker
In this section, you will find player profiles and statistics for the ladies' first team, recent results and forthcoming fixtures, as well as photos of the team in action.
Who we are
The Ladies first team currently compete in the London & South East Regional Women's Premier League, the fifth tier of women's football in England and one level below the FA Women’s Premier League (FAWPL).
In 2016-17, we finished third, reached the final of the League Cup and also faced Women's Super League 2 side Brighton in the Sussex Women's Challenge Cup final.
Our aim is to follow a similar path to both Lewes Ladies and Chichester City Ladies and secure promotion to the FA WPL.
This would represent a major step forward for our club, as it would bring us under the umbrella of the FA WPL brand, which is becoming increasingly marketed and recognised within women's football, both nationally and internationally.
A first team playing in the FA WPL will not only be able to attract players with experience of that level and above, crucial to further progression, it will also help strengthen our cherished and widely respected youth section, with the club being seen as a credible and viable option for youngsters who aspire to playing top-level women's football.
The challenges we face
The women’s game in England is developing at an unprecedented pace as its popularity and commercial value is increasingly being recognised by both professional and semi-professional football clubs and the media.
Our Sussex friends, Lewes Ladies, garnered a lot of attention for their recent decision to offer equal budgets to their men’s and ladies sections, while the BBC will stream a selection of Women's Super League (WSL) matches in 2017-18. Consultation on creating a one-tier WSL strictly for clubs that can sustain full-time players, proposed from 2018-19 onwards, is another significant development.
The impact of all this is now being felt at our level of the women’s pyramid, raising expectations for what should be provided within the senior and youth set-ups of even grassroots clubs.
We have assembled what we believe to be the strongest squad we have ever had at first-team level, including a couple of former WSL players, and added a new weekly strength and conditioning (S&C) session, using the excellent facilities at Cottesmore Hotel Golf and Country Club, our new first-team training partner - a massive thank you to them.
We have also recruited two specialist S&C coaches, Jordan Stannard and Paul Walshe, and appointed a new first-team coach, Mike Gardiner, who will lead the technical training for the first-team squad. They join goalkeeping coach Paul Woodhams and assistant manager Dave Cole - his experience is invaluable and much valued by me and the squad.
In addition to the new relationship with Cottesmore, we have retained all of our current first team sponsors and partners – Wallace Walker and Bunaken Oasis, as well as Thales, our main club sponsor. My thanks go to all of these fantastic partners, whose support is vital as we strive towards our ambition of securing FA WPL status.
The first team play home matches at Oakwood FC. Directions are on the website and we would very much welcome and appreciate your support for this coming season. It's good entertainment - and there is usually a bar open after the game!
We are also continuously working to improve the dedicated facility we have at Ewhurst, where our reserve and youth teams play, and where the quality of the pitches, through our efforts, are by far the best in the area outside of stadium facilities.
Be a part of our success story
We are now seeking further sponsors, either for the team as a whole, or, importantly, for individual players. For more information, contact us through the website or me directly on the number below.
Ladies first-team manager and acting club chairman
Forthcoming Fixtures 2017/2018
|Sun||10 Dec||v||Watford Dev||League||Away||2.00|
|Sun||17 Dec||v||Chichester Dev||County Cup||Oakwood||2.00|
|Sun||07 Jan||v||Eastbourne Town||League||Oakwood||2.00|
|Sun||14 Jan||v||Cashalton Ath||League||Away||2.00|
|Sun||21 Jan||v||Watford Dev||League||Oakwood||2.00|
|Sun||28 Jan||v||Parkwood Rangers||League||Bexley Park||2.00|
|Sun||04 Feb||v||League Cup SF|
|Sun||11 Feb||v||County Cup|