Sevenoaks Town FC Ladies are champions

Sevenoaks Town FC Ladies have enjoyed a very successful 21/22 season, as they were crowned champions of Kent Division 1 West in the South East Counties Womens Football League (SECWFL) with one game to spare. They accumulated 43 points over the course of the season – which consisted of 16 games – including 14 wins and just one draw and one loss.

The team would start their season as they intended to go on, kicking off their impressive title-winning campaign with an emphatic 8-2 win versus Maidstone United‘s Development Team, which included hattricks for Libby Gregory and captain, Nat Graves. The team followed up this resounding win with hard-fought victories versus the other teams in their league.

During the matches this season they accumulated a remarkable goal difference of 40 (61 goals scored, 21 conceded) and the game in which they were crowned champions, was an outstanding 10-0 home win, including five goals from the team’s top scorer Ami Wybrow.

Sevenoaks’ impressive campaign was led by the coaching team, comprising of manager Paul McDonagh, who joined the club’s women and girls’ set-up prior to the start of the season, Dan Thomas and Matt Orchin.

The team’s success this year puts them well on their way to achieving the three-year plan that the committee of Sevenoaks Town put together before the season began, which entails the aim of helping the team move from tier 7 (b) to tier 4 within the next three years.

With the appointment McDonagh and the work the club is doing with Natalie Curtis, a Football Development Officer for Women & Girls Football at the Kent FA, and Charlotte Richardson, an FA Club Consultant who has been involved in the Women’s Sport & Leadership Academy, Sevenoaks Town are increasing the profile of women’s football at the club.
Commenting on his first season with the ladies side, McDonagh told Sevenoaks Sport & Wellbeing: “I had worked with Sevenoaks Town FC prior to Covid within the boys section before taking on this role, and Paul [Lansdale] asked me to help promote and assist the women’s side of the game.

“We started by making sure we had the right environment and getting the players onboard. We promoted a few players from the under-18’s and they stepped up pretty quickly. The first month was fairly rocky but it picked up really quickly after that.

Asked about the club committee’s vision, he added: “Whenever a club says it wants to be in that position, that’s the minimum or best case scenario, but I think the most important thing that was suggested is that we get out of the division this year – which is what we’ve achieved.

“Then it’s a case of yes, we go up at least one division, but we have applied to go up two divisions, which is now out of our hands. The club want to be up there, ideally we want to be playing in the Regional Divisions which is step 5.”
The club are also working on the junior side of the women’s game and conversations have been had about getting the football up to standard.

McDonagh added: “Now we have step one under our belt, we can spend a bit of time looking at the girls section. We want to make sure that every age group from U8’s all the way up to U18’s is filled, whilst raising the standard of coaching and eventually getting it on a par with the boys section.”

The squad will be presented with the League Winners Trophy on Thursday 26th May at Maidstone United’s Gallagher Stadium prior to the SECWFL Chairman’s cup final.

Sevenoaks Town Ladies showed they meant business this season and had a variety of ways to win, even without being at their best. They will hopefully move up two divisions thanks to their triumphant campaign and they will begin the 2022/23 season in September. We for one hope it will be another successful season for them!

Additional reporting by Katie LeSbriel.