National League Preview: Brighouse Town

Photo: @btafcwomen

People that know me are well aware that my first love in the women’s game is definitely Manchester City but this year I want to support local and those in the lower leagues as they just don’t get the recognition they deserve. The only issue for me though is the two teams I am going to be following are both in the same league, the National League Division One North. I will be following both Brighouse Town and Bradford City. Throughout this new season be prepared to see plenty of content on both these teams. As I am new to the league and specifically these two teams, I have spoken to representatives from each club to get some info on each team to share with you all and hopefully learn some new things myself.

So today’s post is all about Brighouse Town Women AFC a team that play about 15 minutes away from my house, at the Yorkshire Payments Stadium, (click here to see exact location) so I don’t really have an excuse for not having gone in the past, in fact my only visit to that stadium is when my old team Tyersal played on the pitch at the side of the first team pitch and I was out injured. The club was formed in 2013 and is made up of seven teams from under 6 all the way to the first team.

It is in fact the first teams fourth season in the FA Women’s National League which is brilliant especially to say they were only formed in 2013. They have previously finished sixth and second in the previous seasons, which you can’t fault as to jump from sixth to second then continue that form into another season is definitely an achievement. 

Last seasons top scorer was Charlotte Proud, can she do it again this season or are one of the new signings going to take away the top scorer award this season? Brighouse have signed Laura Bartup from Liverpool Feds and Danni Bailey from Bolton Wanderers who will definitely be great additions to the squad and who can really make a difference.

Still managed by Rob Mitchell, I think he is definitely a great manager and seems to be one who has his team on his side and wanting to play for him, unlike some managers you see these days. For them to retain second place he must be doing something right.

The current captain is Annabelle Cass, which for me is fantastic to see as I actually played alongside with Annabelle in my short time at college. I can honestly say she is a fantastic player who could very easily be playing in teams in higher leagues. She definitely has the ability to motivate the team and keep morale up. Vice captain will be Kayleigh Bamforth, another player I have seen mentioned on my Twitter quite often.

It isn’t just the league they have done well in since they started, just last season (2018/19) they were the West Riding County Cup Champions which is great as there are some brilliant teams in the West Riding County such as Bradford Park Avenue and of course my old team Tyersal. They also made it to the FA Cup 3rd round in 2016 & the 4th round in 2017, which again is great especially considering they were knocked out by the likes of Everton and Sunderland respectfully.

Brighouse have aspirations of promotion to the National League North and continue to be competitive despite the lack of a brand or a household name. Which to be honest they definitely could push for that promotion and improve on that second place finish this season especially after seeing their training on social media. I honestly think a good run in a cup could also help bring them a bit more attention along with the right media promotion they could also become a name on many peoples mind with locals wanting to go watch. Their hopeful promotion will help them become a bigger brand, let’s hope that happens this season.

It has definitely been fun learning about Brighouse and I can’t wait to learn about Bradford very soon. I will definitely be trying to get to as many games as possible throughout the season to see how the team does.

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