Man City Women travel to Dorchester on Sunday for their first game back from internationals, against Yeovil Town Ladies.
A Somerset club on geographical terms, Yeovil Town Ladies made the move from Huish Park to Dorset’s county town and the Clayson Stadium in June this year. The move ensured that the club would be able to reach more fans of women’s football in the area and promote the game somewhere new.
Upon the announcement, Yeovil also revealed they hoped to return to Huish Park to play some league and cup games.
Yeovil, who were first founded in 1990 as Yetminister Ladies, played their first game against Weymouth Vikings in September of the same year; drawing 2-2. The club won the South West Women’s Football League Division Two Cup in 1994/95 and 1995/96 before winning the Division One Cup in the following season.
Since then Yeovil have worked their way up the women’s football pyramid and first competed in WSL 2 in 2014, finishing a respectable fifth. They finished joint third in the following season and were crowned WSL 2 champions in 2016 securing their promotion to WSL 1, as it was then.
The club were managed by Jamie Sherwood, who oversaw Yeovil’s rise to the top flight before the restructuring of the league, left the WSL 1 side at the end of their first season in the top tier; Yeovil finishing bottom. The Lady Glover’s starting a crowdfunding page to raise money for their WSL license following the restructure and they successfully raised enough to see them granted a place in the new, fully professional league.
Former Millwall Lionesses manager Lee Burch was appointed manager in June this year, with Jamie Sherwood returning to take up the position of Director of Football in August.
On his appointment as head coach, Burch said: “I’m delighted to be joining Yeovil Town Ladies Football Club. After speaking to the club and seeing the vision, I was excited by the challenge and look forward to the season starting”.
“The club has many of the key values I look for in myself, the players I work with and the staff and this was key to my decision”.
Burch brought in former players Hannah Short and Emily Donovan from Oxford United with Georgia Evans joining from London Bees. Megan Alexander, Amber Gaylor and Bonnie Horwood followed their former manager from Millwall while goalkeepers Beth Howard and captain Megan Walsh resigned with the club. Amy Goddard joined from Bristol City along with teammate Olivia Fergusson and Shannon Albuery signed from Portsmouth FC Women.
The team secured their first WSL win against Everton on November 4th, thanks to Hannah Short’s long range goal beating Kirstie Levell and ending almost two years without a win.
Twelve Man City Women’s players are returning from the international break, with Georgia Stanway and Ellie Roebuck making their senior debuts, captain Steph Houghton receiving her 100th Lionesses cap and Jen Beattie, Caroline Weir and Claire Emslie playing in a friendly against the USA.
Keira Walsh was back in training this week, after suffering an injury against Liverpool that kept her off England duty as was Mie Jans. Another positive sign was Megan Campbell posting an image of her in football boots onto her Instagram story, which means a New Year return is possible.
The Blues take on Yeovil at the Clayson Stadium in Dorchester on Sunday November 25th, kick off is at three o’clock with tickets available on the day. If you can’t make it, the game is being streamed live on the FA WSL Facebook page.