Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Chipstead announce new ladies team

At the end of July, Chipstead Football Club unveiled exciting new plans to add an adult women’s side to their club, for the first time in the successful community club’s history.

Chipstead who have two senior men’s team, a vet’s team and multiple youth sides, have been progressively building up their girls football offering for a number of years, and owing to a new local need for well-run women’s teams, Chipstead ladies was formed.

The ladies will ply their trade in the Kent Division 2 West of the South East Counties Women’s Football League starting this season 2022/23 and will come up against local and also newly formed side New Ash Green Women’s.

Gabby Smith, Chipstead ladies team secretary told Sevenoaks Sport & Wellbeing: “Myself and a few other ladies were in talks with coach Dave Bristow about setting up a new ladies team for a club that did not currently have one. We wanted Dave and his son Sean Bristow to manage/coach us and we had around 10 players raring and ready to go.

“I had previously spoken with Alan Black and Jason from the Chipstead committee and knew they were keen to have an official ladies team, so I got back in touch with them and before we knew it Dave, Sean, myself and two other players had a meeting with the whole Chipstead Committee two days later, and we were all in agreement to have the team set up immediately!

“In a matter of two weeks, we have registered players and will now be part of the South East Counties Women’s League; Kent Division 2 West for the season 2022/23.

“It has been a challenging but very exciting process and I speak on behalf of all of the new Chipstead ladies that we cannot wait to see what this upcoming season will bring and thank Dave, Sean and Chipstead for all of their efforts and support, they have all truly been amazing! This is a tremendously inspiring time for Chipstead as we can now provide a team for their younger generation of girls to hopefully look up to, which brings me to also add it has certainly started off on the right foot having just played our first game as Chipstead ladies and winning 3-2!”

New manager Dave Bristow had previously seen a number of the now Chipstead ladies play in a league game and thought they had real potential. He said: “They have had a hard time over the past 14 months and I am so glad they have chosen myself and Sean to take them forward. 

“The outlook for them looks extremely promising. Chipstead have worked so hard to welcome the team to the club, affiliating them into the league and providing training facilities. With Chipstead needing a senior ladies team, they now have the perfect squad to spearhead women’s football, plus a stepping stone for youth to adult football. 

“For myself, who is getting on a bit, my plan is to build a good foundation for women’s football at Chipstead, then in a few years pass the reins over to my son Sean who has experience helping coach the Brighton women’s team during his time at college. 

“But overall these Chipstead ladies can go far with their hard work, determination and commitment.”

Chipstead’s Club Chairman, Alan Black, told Sevenoaks Sport & Wellbeing: “Establishing a ladies team at Chipstead wasn’t in our plans for at least a couple of years. However, when recently approached by Gabby about setting up a Ladies team this year, we felt it worthwhile at least exploring the feasibility of doing so. 

“On meeting up soon after with Gabby, Gemma, Jules and Dave & Sean, we were immediately impressed by their sheer enthusiasm and determination to make it happen. Despite the season being just over 4 weeks away we all agreed to give it our best shot. And here we are 10 days later with a Ladies team affiliated and accepted into the South East Counties Woman’s Football League, sponsorship sorted, new kit on order and a first match under their belt, ending in an encouraging 3-2 win. A terrific team effort has enabled all this to be achieved in such a short space of time. The focus is now on recruiting a few more players and getting more friendlies in before the start of the season. 

“Coming on the back of the Lionesses recent success, the timing couldn’t have been better. With a core of 80+ girl footballers aged 5-15 already at the club, setting up a Ladies team is just the icing on the cake! We now have a pathway from junior and youth girls’ football all the way through to open age football, a major milestone in further progressing girls and women’s football at Chipstead.

“We’re delighted to have Dave, Sean and the ladies on board and look forward to helping them achieve their goals in the years ahead.”

For anyone looking to get back into football or would like to give it a go, new players are welcome, please contact the manager Dave directly on 07920885319

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