Ascot United Ladies have been back in pre-season since the 14th July, training twice a week before the season kicks off on the 1st September. The Yellawomen play in the Southern Region Women's Football League step 5 on the women's football pyramid. Manager Darrel Evans first job over the summer was to replace 1st team coach Dave Ward who due to work commitments was unable to continue in the Role. Evans looked no further than the Ladies Reserves squad where he asked Stephen Jeffery to step up from reserve team coach John Swallow is also joining the coaching team as he joins us from Laurel Park FC.
Whilst Evans has seen two of last seasonís squad move on, the core of the team have committed themselves for the new season, and they will be joined by incoming Greater London's Women's Premier League players Laura Spark and Kelly Rideout (both from Colne Valley Ladies) and Charlotte Crook, who joins from Godalming Town Ladies FC (all pictured above). Both Spark and Crook play at Centre Back, whilst Rideout will boost the midfield options.
Retained Yellawomen from last season include Goalkeeper Lisa Phillips, and Defenders Annie Ackroyd, Katie Vince, Lauren Broadhurst, Lucie Kroutilova and Steph Fettes. Returning Midfielders include Sarah Davern, Hannah Evans, Darcy Young, Jen Thraves, Livvie Hazell and Georgia Bowers, whilst up top retained Forwards are Lucy Holzman-Clarke, Nicole Brown and Freya Johnson. With still 3 weeks before the season starts (at the time of writing, 4th August), Evans is happy with the squad but is open to adding another attacking option to the squad if the right player becomes available.
So far, the Ladies have played just the one pre-season friendly which ended in a 4-3 win away to Swindon Supermarine at the Webbswood Stadium. Other friendlies arranged are another trip to the Webbswood stadium in a return match against Swindon Supermarine (11th August 2pm ko) before they travel to Brentford FC Women on the 18th. The team are still looking for one more game on the 25th August to complete pre-season before the big Kick Off on the 1st September.
The SRWFL will be announcing the fixture list on the 9th August but the first competitive fixture will be against Abingdon Town Women in the Preliminary Round of the Women's FA Cup on the 1st Sept. As with the Men's first team we have been drawn at home but due to the continued construction of the new pitch at the Racecourse not due to be finished in time the fixture has been moved to Abingdon Town's Ground at Culham Road, OX14 3HP with a 2pm Kick Off.
This season is the start of a new era for the Ladies as the Racecourse home pitch is changing from grass to 3G and the team will also be coming back to the club for training nights rather than training off site as in previous seasons. The Ladies finished 6th last season so will be looking for a top 5 finish in the SRWFL, and other targets will be to try and reach the Women's FA Cup 3rd Qualifying round for the first time and look for other good cup runs. Who knows, maybe an appearance in either the Berks & Bucks County Cup, League Cup or Chairman's Cup final!