National League Preview: A New Era For Yeovil Town14 Aug, 2019
Despite relegation from the Women’s Super League being all but confirmed before the season had ended, Yeovil Town‘s nexts steps were very uncertain. Financial difficulties let to a 10 point deduction being awarded, meaning Yeovil finished the season with -3 points and would have a create a bid for a place in the Championship for the next season.
Despite their best efforts, the FA failed to award Yeovil a place in the Championship for the 2019/20 season, meaning they would play in the National League Southern Premier. However, to do that the club would have to find a new owner, as well as new players and a new manager, after former manager Lee Burch announced his departure and took up a position at Championship side London Bees.
At the beginning of July it was announced that Yeovil Town was now under the ownership of businessman Adam Murray, head of the Elite Soccer Academy in Tampa, Florida, and plans for the season in the National League were underway. Yeovil then announced that Dual Career Academy manager Jamie Philip would be stepping up as First Team Manager for the new season; and confirmed that the Clayton Stadium in Dorchester would remain Yeovil’s home for a second season.
With all the changes happening at the club, a change of name seemed imminent. Whilst some fans thought they should drop ‘Yeovil’ all together, as they had no connection to the men’s team and played in a different county to the town, it was decided the club would drop ‘Ladies’ and become known as Yeovil Town Women for the new season.
With the takeover complete, a home secured and the staff assembled the club began announcing their new team. Yeovil confirmed that Annie Heatherson, Charlotte Buxton, Erin Bloomfield and goalkeeper Beth Howard would all remain at the club for another season. They also confirmed several Academy players would progress to the First Team this season. Defenders Jodie Chubb and Katie Jones joined the club, as well as Welsh Youth International Meesha Dudley-Jones. Yeovil also confirmed the return of Kelly Aldridge, who was part of the team that were promoted to the Women’s Super League in 2016. Fan favourite Sarah Wiltshire has also returned to the club, after 2 seasons with Tottenham Hotspur, which saw them promoted to the Super League at the end of last season.