Portsmouth Women huddle just before kick off against Plymouth. Photo by Jordan Hampton

An Introduction to Portsmouth FC Women

In the latest of our special series of features showcasing teams playing at all levels of women’s football, Amelia Southgate introduces us to Portsmouth FC Women.

Firstly, tell us about yourself and your role within the club?
I’ve been at Pompey for just over a year and a half now after joining from Saints at the start of last year’s pre-season. I’m a traditional centre half who loves a slide tackle and I’m also the current club captain which is a huge honour.

What league is your club in and what are the targets for the rest of the season?
We play in the FA Women’s National League South and after a fairly mixed start to the season we are sitting about mid-table. Our aims for the rest of the season are to win as many games as possible, score as many goals as possible and concede as few as possible! We’ve had a really positive start to 2019 so hopefully we can continue our current run of form.

Kerry Bartlett and Amelia Southgate both challenge for a ball.

Amelia challenges Keynsham Town ‘s Kerry Bartlett for a ball. Photo: Mark Davies

Where can we see you play your home games this season?
We’re back playing in Portsmouth this season, which is great! We play at the PMC Stadium which is Baffins Milton Rover’s ground just off the Eastern road. They’ve been really accommodating so far and it’s starting to feel more like home after defeating Southampton there the other week in front of a crowd of over 500.

Who’s the boss?
The boss is Jay Sadler. As for his style, he definitely would like to think he’s Pep Guardiola and often quotes him at training and matches. My first impressions were that he’s very Scouse!  Jay is extremely committed to the team and his poor wife Nat often has to endure him spending hours on the phone to players and staff. He’s very passionate about us being a ball playing team and pressing hard to win it back. He can be the biggest kid of us all on the training ground but he’s also very professional when need be, so it’s a good balance!

Portsmouth FC Women's manager Jay Sadler, taken by Jordan Hampton

Jay Sadler. Photo: Jordan Hampton

How does the first team set themselves up?
We are a footballing team first and foremost. We like to possess the ball and play out from the back whenever possible. We like to press from the front and regain possession in high areas. Portsmouth is a city that has had to work hard to overcome adversity and we pride ourselves on our work rate and our passion for the badge.

Could you tell me about your club captain and what she brings to the team?
That’s me! So I sent the question over to Katie James and this is what she said (I promise I didn’t edit it!): Our club captain is Amelia Southgate. She joined the team over a year and a half ago and is now one of our more senior players. As a centre-half, Millzy sets an example with her desire to throw in tackles and win the ball back at any given cost. She acts as our mediator between players and coaches and also as a mother figure most of the time! She definitely takes care of all the players and sometimes even staff!

Katie James and the Portsmouth FC Women celebrating. Taken by Jordan Hampton.

Katie James (centre) and the Portsmouth FC Women celebrating. Photo: Jordan Hampton

Who should we put our money on to be top goalscorer this season?
Now that we have Shannon Albuery back from Yeovil I’d say she could be in with a decent shout! Rach Panting would also be up there in the betting odds and if Sarah Eadon can keep herself injury free, she could well nick it before the season’s out!

Shannon Albuery celebrates scoring against Southampton. Photo Jordan Hampton.

Shannon Albuery scoring against Southampton in the south coast derby. Photo: Jordan Hampton

Who is the unsung hero within the squad?
Our unsung hero is definitely our secretary and mini bus driver, Boy Racer Bill. He’s an absolute club legend who is extremely generous and would give anything to help the girls out.

Who is the young gun within the squad who we should watch out for this season?
Jazz Younger and Jaime Rowlands are both the young guns of the squad who are definitely ones to watch. Jazz is a very technically gifted centre half and is the most chilled out player I’ve ever played with. Jaime’s a goalkeeper who will be essential in our aim to retain the Hampshire Cup this year and played a crucial part in our local derby victory the other week.

Jazz Younger. Photo: Jordan Hampton

Jaime Rowlands. Photo: Jordan Hampton

Where can we follow the club’s progress this season?
Everywhere! Our media team do an incredible job and our match day programme is the best I’ve seen in our league by far. You can find us on Instagram and Twitter at @OfficialPompeyW.

Stuart Barker
hellosince71@gmail.com