Trio of triumph as Ascot, S4K and Shinfield all secured TVCWFL titles

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Ascot United Ladies Reserves lift the TVCWFL trophy. Photo: Neil Graham.

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The Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League has been abundant with Berkshire talent with this season being incredibly competitive across all seven divisions and that is no clearer evidenced that the silverware making it’s way to not one, not two but three of our counties sides this season as Ascot United Ladies Reserves, S4K FC Berks County Ladies and Shinfield Rangers Women all clinched their respective division titles. Our women’s football correspondent, Abi Ticehurst, spoke to all three managers to reflect on their seasons.

Ascot United Ladies Reserves

The team are managed by John Swallow and won the Division Three East of the Thames Valley County Women’s Football League. Clodagh Farrell was the team’s top goalscorer with 27 goals.

Form: 18 games
Won: 18
Drawn: 0
Lost: 0

Biggest victory:
Ascot United Ladies Reserves 17-1 Holyport Ladies

Can you sum up how winning the division feels as manager?
Winning the division as a manager is one of the best feelings in football. When you are lucky enough to manage a team it is a seven-day-a-week passion and you literally have something to do every day and if you don’t, you are busy thinking about your next game, tactics, player availability, logistics, training drills etc and it is fantastic for the whole team when it all falls into place and they get their just rewards for their hard work and you can feel happy that you have contributed to their success in a small way.

What’s been the highlight of your season?
There has been many, many highlights, every week the ladies just never failed to surprise me with the way they played the game, the team ethic, the camaraderie, the respect fort he opposition,I could eulogise for a long time but the one stand out moment was when we went to Ruislip a few weeks before Christmas, they were several points ahead albeit played more games and we knew they would be our biggest rivals, everything that day pre match that could go wrong did, the motorway was shut, girls arrived late, the game before was late to finish, so we had very little warm up space or time, we had players pull out in the morning and had the bare eleven with a couple carrying injuries and deep down you thought to yourself this is going to be tough and it was, they had a full dug out, five subs, three coaches, I was totally on my own(norman no mates) but to say the girls dug deep for each other is a huge understatement, we scored late in the first half and it was an heroic performance to keep out the opposition as the atmosphere got very very tense, we finished the game with ten players through injury and one with a dead leg still on the pitch and I knew at full time with a 1-0 away win in a battle like that, that we were serious contenders, the journey home was a real pleasure despite the M4 still being shut!

What’s been the biggest challenge for you this season?
Biggest challenge and don’t want to be cliched bit it has to be keeping your squad happy, no one likes being a sub but something I have taken with me since coaching youngsters/teenagers is to tell the players individually that they are substitutes, explain why and re enforce the important contribution they will have in the game.
From my own experiences as a player, the worst feeling is the team sheet being read out in the changing room and realising you aren’t in the eleven because you then switch off from the team talk as you are disappointed, we have had our success this year because we are a squad who are all as important as each other.

Has anyone in the squad been a standout for you or had a standout moment?
I would have to say I would be unkind to all of the squad if I said there was a standout player as they have all been terrific and have all surpassed themselves all season.
The standout moment if I am honest became the battle for the golden boot between Clodagh Farrell and Freya Johnson ,two good friends, two terrific strikers that I am lucky to work with fiercely competitive, neck and neck all the way pretty much and it went right to the wire.

How do you build for the new 2022/23 season?

S4K FC Berks County Ladies celebrate winning Division Three South of the Thames Valley Counties Women's Football League.
S4K FC Berks County Ladies celebrate winning Division Three South of the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League.

S4K FC Berks County Ladies

The team are managed by Graham Ridley and won the Division Three South of the Thames Valley County Women’s Football League. Megan Cox was the team’s top goalscorer with 30 goals.

Form: 18 games
Won: 15
Drawn: 1
Lost: 2

Biggest victory: Yateley United Ladies 0-14 S4K FC Berks County Ladies

Can you sum up how winning the division feels as manager?
Winning the league feels like fantastic. All the hard work and commitment has payed off.

What’s been the highlight of your season?
Winning the league is my highlight off the year it was my goal I set out to all the players and they reached that goal brilliantly.

What’s been the biggest challenge for you this season?
My biggest challenge has been getting players to commit to training and futsal each week so I can work all things that need to be worked on.

Has anyone in the squad been a standout for you or had a standout moment?
There are two players that stand out for me Megan Cox who gave up all her holiday to play for S4K and won golden boot. Kiah Owen is the other who traveled every weekend and gave everything she has on the pitch to win the game even when getting injured.

How do you build for the new 2022/23 season?
We are trying to build next season by starting open season training sessions earlier than usual to get ahead of the rush in July. This will hopefully attract players to come down and then recruit them if good enough.

Shinfield Rangers Ladies celebrate winning the Development Division of the Thames Valley Counties Women's Football League.
Shinfield Rangers Ladies celebrate winning the Development Division of the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League. Photo: Patrick Slaughter

Shinfield Rangers Women

The team are managed by Dave Senior and won the Development Division of the Thames Valley County Women’s Football League. Chloe Bagshaw was the team’s top goalscorer with 24 goals.

Form: 18 games
Won: 17
Drawn: 1
Lost: 0

Biggest victory: Shinfield Rangers Ladies 10-1 Stanford-in-the-Vale Women

Can you sum up how winning the division feels as manager?
As a manager winning the division brings a lot of pride. Not just for taking the title with four games left to play but the way we have performed as a team over the whole season, culminating in an incredible undefeated league record. It is a fantastic  achievement  and true testament to every player, individually and as a collective. We have made club history and give inspiration to our club  junior girls teams in only in our second season of competetive  football. 

What’s been the highlight of your season?
Highlight of the season was securing the league title at home with four games left to play and a fantastic team performance, supported by family, friends and supporters/players young and old from within the club.  

What’s been the biggest challenge for you this season?
Biggest challenge has been player rotation and finding the right blend of talent  to compliment the team intent and to give all the players sufficient exposure to game conditions to progress everyone on their development journey…whilst winning of course!

Has anyone in the squad been a standout for you or had a standout moment?
I really cant single out anyone for a standout performance.  Every player has given their maximum effort and intensity, battled through injury, adversity  and personal commitment  to drive this team to the success it has now. 

How do you build for the new 2022/23 season?
We build for next season by rest, followed by hard work and a structured  pre season plan. We will continue to offer bespoke 1-1 sessions  throughout the summer to really develop individual  talent and technical/tactical ability linked to player profiling. 

Good luck to all three teams with their respective promotions next season and keep your eyes peeled for the TVCWFL 2022/23 constitution.

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