Female football in Berks and Bucks has thrived this season with successes on the pitch for many of the Counties best teams.
Reading Women playing in Division 1 of the WSL climbed to their highest ever position, 4th behind Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City. Ex-player Fran Kirby topped the goal scoring charts with Chelsea, but credit goes to Kelly Chambers and her team for what was a very impressive league campaign. Support at Adams Park has continued to grow and matches versus Arsenal and Chelsea saw audiences grow to over 1000 spectators at each game; a truly brilliant season for the top female football team from the County.
Promotion to the Womens Premier Division 1 (newly named the Women’s National League South) has been a long time coming for MK Dons Ladies. MK were playing catch up for the last couple of months of the season, at one stage, they were 27 points adrift of top spot, but put together a sensational 11-game winning streak to be crowned FA Premier (now National) South East Division One Champions.
It’s the culmination of two years hard work from the side and, having finished second at their first attempt, only having dropped four points since September, the ladies went unbeaten in 20 games.
Alongside this, the ladies also won the BBFA County FA Senior Women’s Cup with a 7-0 win against Maidenhead United Ladies at Stadium MK.
Maidenhead United Ladies had a tough season in the FA Premier League (now National) South West division, but a steady mid-table finish will see them rewarded with another season at this level.
Joining these teams in the new FA National league will be Chesham United Ladies who raced through the Southern Region Premier League opposition winning 16 out of 16 matches and beating AFC Bournemouth 3-1 in their League Cup final to complete their double.
The Southern Division 1 saw Woodley United Ladies promoted up to the Southern Region Premier League, closely followed by Barton Rovers who will also play Premier League football next season.
The Thames Valley Women’s League provides a spring-board for Ladies clubs wishing to start the journey up the Women's Football Pyramid and a successful season saw newly formed Abingdon United progress from Division 1 into the Southern Region. Regional division winners were Taplow United, and Buckingham Athletic who will both be playing TVCWFL Division 1 football next season.
All the U18 teams successfully made it through the season, with Milton United the strongest amongst them picking up a league and cup double. They make the step-up in to Ladies Football next season along with 10 other new ladies sides.
The U18 section looks like it will also increase by almost 50% as a positive playing environment continues to encourage girls to keep playing.
Roll on 2018/19!