Bishop's Stortford Community Football Club under-12 girls celebrate being crowned league champions and going close to winning a cup
Bishop's Stortford Community Football Club under-12 girls are celebrating a tremendous first full competitive season which saw them be crowned league champions and go close to winning a cup.
The team took Hertfordshire Girls Football Partnership League, Division Four by storm as they finished top with 14 wins from 16 games and a 100% home record.
The side, which was established in late 2019, lost two of their first three league games before proving unstoppable on their march to the title.
Their first win was a 9-0 victory over Evergreen Ospreys and they went on to hit double figures four times, with their biggest success being 16-0 against Berkhamsted Raiders Cosmics.
The squad comprised Adela Szulc, Alva Vamplew, Casey Butler, Connie Maley, Dolly Norman, Elissa Morris, Elle Paramo, Hannah Berry, Holly Penn, Isabella Pleasance, Jessica Dittrich, Lois Bonney, Mia Beer and Scarlet Newstead.
At the helm are manager Phil Vamplew and his assistant Nick Maley while the players are coached by former Brighton & Hove Albion and Stansted forward Gary Hart.
The parents are also fully on board, helping to reinforce the coaches' messages away from training as well as creating a good atmosphere in which the girls are thriving.
For a lot of the players it has been a case of learning the game from scratch, but they have grown in confidence and become a real team unit.
The girls' section at BSCFC has gone from strength to strength in recent years and the under-12s' brilliant campaign is just part of the huge legacy left behind by Ray Greenwood.
The inspirational coach, who died suddenly at the age of 64 last June and was named a joint winner of the John Turner Memorial Award at November's Indies community awards, was a huge driving force behind the growth of the club as a whole and the girls' development centre.
As well as their league triumph, the girls excelled in the Under-12 League Shield.
They topped their group with six wins out of six – which included beating higher-level opposition in the shape of Borehamwood Lionesses and Meninas Fortaleza – before seeing off Garston Lions and Hemel Aces Wasps in the quarter-finals and semi-final respectively.
They met Goffs Oak in the final and, after falling behind, equalised with five minutes to go.
They then went close to winning it in the closing moments, but were ultimately beaten in a penalty shootout as they narrowly missed out on completing the double.
The girls are also unbeaten this calendar year against teams from Divisions Two and Three in cup games and friendlies, and they hope to be promoted two levels to Division Two for next season.
And the team's success has also earned Beer, Dittrich and Vamplew the opportunity to train with Cambridge United after impressing coaches in the Sky Bet League One club's youth ranks.