Aylsham reflect on great season

THE Jubilee Hall, Aylsham provided a perfect venue and was filled to capacity with players and their families for Aylsham Ladies and Girls’ presentation evening.

Chair of the club, Heidi Clark, said that, as a section of Aylsham FC, there was much of which to be proud, indicated by the wonderful support of the evening event. It had been a long, hard season for all but there were fantastic achievements and results to be celebrated.

AFC club chair Ian Potter attended the event and paid credit to the efforts of all and echoed Heidi’s thoughts. The Ladies had won their league and were runners-up in the Cup. The Men’s first team and Reserve team won their respective cups and both gained promotion — a very successful season for the senior teams. The annual tournament organised by the club held at Aylsham Rec during the weekend of May 21 and 22 had been a huge success. More teams had entered than in previous years and more money had been raised than before. Huge thanks to all who contributed to its success.

Congratulations to Gavin Myhill and Debbie Kelly on gaining their Level One coaching qualification. Medals were presented to all players during the evening by Ladies’ captain Flick Farraway.

Ladies’ manager Abby Timmins said the league title was decided only at the final game of the season — it had been a tight league throughout.

Aylsham Ladies were victorious but lost to the same team (Acle) in the Cup final which meant the honours were shared. The Ladies’ team looks forward to welcoming the U16 players next season as they progress through the club. Thanks to Carolyn Atherton, Coral Gillespie (refreshments), Steve Grice, Patrick Bobbin and Ashley Hunton (linesmen).

Heidi Clark acknowledged the phenomenal contribution of Darren Barnes and Sebastian Sutcliffe who have coached and encouraged girls over several years to benefit the club.

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Eileen Moss was thanked for leading fundraising efforts and Lesley Slater steps down as secretary after many years of loyal service to the club.

Steve Grice joined Heidi on the stage to praise the enormous amount of time and effort Heidi puts into the club, saying she really did hold the section together.

Most improved player Sam Ede, manager’s player Gina Atherton, players’ player Shaz Bunn, first headed goal of the season Flick Farraway (Ladies’ captain).

U11: manager Debbie Kelly. Their first season together had been very tough, winning only one game of 14 but learning a great deal along the way. Some players were new to football at the outset. Sincere thanks to those who have helped Steve Grice, Andrew Baker and referees Josh Last, Gina Atherton and Georgie Bobbin.

Most improved player Sophie Baker, manager’s player Chloe Smithson, players’ player –Toni Kelly.

U13: managers, Gavin Myhill and Angie Rusbridge. Gavin reported: great pride in the team for their efforts.

Some injuries had been suffered which meant the team had played with reduced numbers. The size of the squad had risen from six girls to 10 during the season.

Most improved player Nikita Moss, managers’ player Rebecca Hibberd, players’ player Katrina Wooldridge.

U15: manager, Brian Clark. A great team spirit throughout and self belief had increased during the season. They reached the semi-final of the Cup and finished third in the League. Next season, players will be coming through who will then move on to the Ladies’ squad. Thanks to linesman Richard Key and referee Steve Newstead.

Most improved player Raven Saunt, manager’s players Mary and Annie Clark, players’ player Katie Donovan.

U16: Sebastian Sutcliffe. A significant moment for Sebastian, who spoke passionately, as his team progress to Ladies football.

Sebastian has managed the team for seven years with four/five girls who have been with him since the formation of the team.

Tribute was paid to the families of players for transporting the girls to matches and to the strong committee for support and encouragement throughout.

Sebastian gave personal thanks to Darren Barnes for tireless help.

The season has been tough but fortunately some of the U15s have helped out and the team has stuck together through difficult times with tremendous spirit and grown in strength.

Most improved player Lauren Kemp, manager’s player Naomi Sutcliffe, players’ player Lizzie Hibberd.