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Women’s News

Swindon Town Women: Under-18s season review

With Adam Wood promoted to Joint Development Team Manager back in August last year, there was a new look to Swindon Town’s under-18 girls this term.

8 March 2023

With the side completing the double last season by winning the Wiltshire league and cup as part of our under-16 age group, a new challenge would await as they looked for more of the same for the 2022/23 campaign.

They moved into the Oxfordshire Girls Football League, with the aim once again to create an upstream of young talented players for a seamless switch into the Development Team.

Chiarna Deller and Ellie Burgess, who were previously part of the coaching setup with our Under-16s, took ownership of the squad before the commencement of the season.

Chiarna was appointed manager and Ellie her assistant, with Jordan Hendondrafted in as a coach, joining from the Reading Academy.

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With several under-16s being called up to the Development side on a full-time basis, including Maddie Sheppard, Maddie Hines, Darcy Cox and Erin Hemsley, work was underway to recruit their replacements.

Grace Khazir joined from Headington Youth, with Faith Kingdon drafted infrom Witney Vikings, while Kayley Drury was signed from Ashton Keynes.

There was also a return for a number of players, including Abigael Cloughton, Lucia Green and Safia Neocleous, all of which had progressed through the Swindon Town community program in recent years.

The start of the season began with a 2-0 home win against Barton United, with the side setup slightly differently with a new formation.

This was closely followed by a clash with early pace-setters Chesterton, with the game ending 1-1.

Performances against Cumnor Minors and Headington Youth highlighted key areas for development within the squad as two consecutive narrow defeats followed.

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However, the side soon turned this around against Witney Vikings with a convincing 3-0 win, followed by a 5-0 demolition of local rivals Oxford City.

Some mid-season recruitment saw the attacking depth of the squad strengthened with the addition of Olivia Hancock from Bristol City Academy.

Fired up, they began their League Cup challenge with a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Chesterton, with the tie going to penalties.

Grace Khazir proved the hero as she saved two of the opponent’s spot kicks to win the shootout 3-1 and secure progress into the semi-finals.

The new 2023 season began in January and sees the league split into two divisions with the top five teams battling out for the title, and they’ve made an impressive start.

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They currently lie third in the table with impressive 8-0 and 4-0 victories pushing them up the standings where they’re currently just five points adrift of the league leaders.

We once again look forward to seeing our under-18s developing and challenging for silverware with the focus on nurturing the talent we have for seamless progression into our first-team.

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