Ladies 1st team head coach, Colin Clarke (left) and manager, Chris Glover (right). Photo c/o Phil Kielthy
I look forward to welcoming everyone to Nottingham Centre this Sunday for what promises to be a mouth-watering tie between ourselves and Clifton Robinsons in the Investec Womens Cup. This is the first time we have ever reached the semi-final stage, and so to be up against the current cup holders makes it even more of a special occasion, and one that I am confident our girls will respond well to.
Our decorated opponents are joining us today off the back of another competitive season in the Investec Premier League, and while they will be disappointed like ourselves not to make it to the play-off phase of the season, today’s tie offers them one more chance of some glory at Lee Valley.
Indeed, last weekend was a frustrating one for both of today’s teams as they came agonisingly close to qualification for the season ending play-offs. For our visitors, they gave Surbiton a real run for their money in an exciting 4-3 defeat which left them 6th in the league. For ourselves, a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Sutton Coldfield was not enough as Brooklands Poynton edged past Timperley 2-1 to get the three points they needed to win Conference North. Our full congratulations go to Brooklands Poynton on a superb season, and we wish them all the best as they head to the play-offs over the next few weeks.
Today’s match provides the opportunity for one of today’s sides to finish the season on a real high with a trip to Lee Valley. We are under no illusions as to the task that faces us this afternoon. Clifton have some star talent who will be well organised and well prepared, and I know they will not be underestimating us. We will need to be at our very best today if we are to cause a huge upset, but that is a challenge that our girls are relishing, and with a little bit of luck we might just spring a huge surprise. While we know the odds are stacked against us, we will play to the principles we have all season, and I know that our young team will do the club proud.
It has been a real pleasure to manage the squad again this season. Colin Clarke has been a revelation as coach and has moved the team forward significantly across the course of the season. Sophie Robinson has done exceptionally well as captain alongside Issy Davison as vice captain. On the pitch the 1st XI have lost just one match, been promoted in the indoor competition, and reached the last four of the Cup for the first time.
Our 2nd XI have had a remarkable season, winning the Midlands Premier League, the feeder to National League. They have also made it to Lee Valley for the final of the 2nd XI Plate on 1st May. Full credit must go to the coach Clive Morris and Helen Redford Sears the captain who has done an fabulous job leading the team. It goes to show the great depth we have here at Beeston, and that we are well placed as a club to make the jump to the next level. The challenge for us now is to deliver that next season, but for now, we must concentrate on ensuring this season does not end today. It will be tough, but with your support this afternoon, we might just spring a surprise!
Thank you for all your support across the season. Come on you Bees!
Ladies 1st XI manager