WOMEN’S GAME READY TO RETURN


September 20 marks the return of the Women’s National League, six months after the last campaign was suspended, writes Andrew Clayton.

There is a West County derby in store in the Southern Premier Division when Keynsham Town host Plymouth Argyle, while Yeovil Town welcome Portsmouth.

The Glovers announced on Friday that, for this season, they will play their home games between Yeovil Town men’s Huish Park and Taunton Town’s Wordsworth Drive, where they have played in years gone by.

In a statement, Yeovil Women’s owners Adam Murry and Tony McCarthy said: “We believe in showcasing football in Somerset and with the support of both Scott [Priestnall, Yeovil Town FC chairman] and Kevin [Sturney, Taunton Town chairman] we are able to do this in great surroundings that give our club and a platform to go and perform well this season.”

Venues for their fixtures will be confirmed in coming days.

In Division One South West, Poole Town have the unenviable task of hosting Southampton FC, while Buckland Athletic welcome Southampton Women.

At Ironmould Lane, Brislington take on Cheltenham Town and Larkhall Athletic host Maidenhead United. The South West Women’s Football League goes ahead one week earlier, with ties across all four divisions to kick off on September 13.

Extra preliminary rounds of the Women’s FA Cup, meanwhile, are to be played this coming Sunday, September 6. Newly formed Helston Athletic, Saltash United and Banwell make their first ever appearances in the competition this year.

Helston join in the preliminary round on September 13, when they host either Saltash or St Agnes, while Banwell welcome Ilminster Town.

In the meantime, clubs are staying sharp as the pre-season comes to a close. It has gone particularly well for Buckland, who beat a Bristol City academy side 2-1in front of a bumper crowd of 126.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.