Football in Berkshire’s Womens’ Football correspondent Abi Ticehurst takes a look back at the 2019/20 season, speaking to representatives of every Berkshire club.
First up in the hot seat is Donna Carter, manager of Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League side Thatcham Town Ladies.
What’s the best thing about playing/working for the club?
I’ve been at the club since my daughter was 8 (9 years) as she used to play for the club, and I was her coach. I joined to help coach the team and loved every second. The club made me feel very supported and made me feel very welcome. I stopped coaching when the girls reached 15 as unfortunately, we didn’t have enough for a team. Then in 2016/17 I took over a new role as player/manager of the ladies’ team. My friend Mel also coaches the team, so it’s a joint adventure for us. This was a whole new experience as I hadn’t played for a while, but I wanted to have a go as I still loved football. The club were really supportive and gave us kits and equipment to get started.
What’s been your favourite moment at the club?
Well in 2017/18 I was asked to take over as the activity’s member on the committee. So, I’ve had to organise Halloween parties, Christmas parties, summer activities, presentation evenings and trying to get in grants to help the club. I was also asked to design the current club badge which is on all the kits we wear which I feel very proud of. One of my favourite things is to hand out all the medals on tournaments. To put the medals around all the young girls for the future of ladies’ football is one of the best feelings. Makes me feel proud to be part of the club.
What are you doing during this extended break to keep yourself on top of your game both on and off the pitch?
The ladies team have a WhatsApp group, so we keep in touch via that. We set weekly challenges whether it be fitness drills or fun challenges. At the moment one of our fun challenges is to get a tea bag in your mug by kicking it in. Only a couple of ladies have managed this and filmed it! We are a very close-knit group and we look out for each other in life. We are a very diverse team from ages 17-49 but it’s amazing to be part of it, win lose or draw.
Team name: Thatcham Town Ladies
Year established: 2001
Home ground: Henwick Worthy Sports Ground
Manager: Donna Carter
Coach: Mel Aitkin
League & Division: Development Division – Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League
Current table position: 7 of 7
Current squad size: 45
Games played: 14
League form: W – 2 D – 1 L – 9
Top goal-scorer: Katerina Vadlejchova – 10 goals in 13 appearances.
Biggest win: 6 – 2 vs Standford-in-The-Vale Women, 10.11.19 – TVCWFL
Biggest loss: 12 – 0 vs EB Lions AFC Ladies – TVCWFL League Plate 19/20
Fancy joining the team? Contact Donna via the Thatcham & Newbury Facebook page or message them via the website www.tntlgfc.co.uk
Photo: Thatcham Town Ladies vs Yateley United Ladies – Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football Development Cup 2019 – 2020 (FT 1-5)