On Saturday I went to the Gerard Buxton sports ground, home of Royal Wootton Bassett for there annual end of season presentation evening. It was a hugely successful season for the ladies team winning the South-West Women’s Football League Eastern Division and with it promotion to the SWWFL Premier Division in the fifth tier of the women’s football pyramid. This is in addition to the Wiltshire Cup they had won a month earlier against Swindon Spitfires in a comprehensive 9-0 victory in which they scored a staggering 33 goals and only conceded 2 in just 4 games in the competition.
In the league they pipped Frampton Rangers on goal difference in an exciting final day in a thrilling title race Bassett were equally impressive scoring 66 goals in 20 matches with the front two Emily Arrell (21) and Hayley Huckin (16) scoring 37 of them & finishing 2nd & 3rd respectively in the league’s goal scoring charts only being beaten by Frampton’s Madeleine Brown who scored 27 goals. Their defence was equally impressive in which they only conceded 10 league goals which included 10 clean sheets the most in the division for Bassett keeper Abi Footner and her defensive wall.
Most of the playing squad attended the awards evening which was an informal affair held in the clubs spacious & impressive bar, the first award was for ‘Clubman of the Season’ this was awarded to long term injured goalkeeper Sam Wood whos infectious enthusiasm for this club is evident just by talking to her, she attended every game and helped Bassett management duo Jonny House & James Goddard anyway she could be it ensuring the girls were ready pre-game & updating social media posts.
The next award was for ‘supporters player of the season’ in which I was honoured to be invited to vote in, for the record my vote went to teenage striker Emily Arrell, this was wide open in which 9 players at least received at least 1 vote in a voting system in which the supporters many of which are parents were not allowed to vote for there daughters!, the award was won by versatile defender Hannah Gulliver who had a brilliant season even contributing by scoring 2 goals of her own.
The final two awards, ‘Players Player’ and ‘Managers Player of the Year’ were unanimous. Both awarded to long-serving Bassett defender & club captain Laura Jefferies who has superbly led this impressive team from the front and by example.
It was a lovely evening and I was delighted to be welcomed at & the swiftness of the official part of the proceedings gave everyone time to mingle and talk about the fantastic season that had occurred I particularly enjoyed talking to the enthusiastic Jonny and James and there plans for the future, they have been promised support from the men’s team and are committed to making this team even more successful as they try to push on in there goal to gain National League status.
They have already started planning for next season by holding open training evenings looking for new players to enhance what they already have and are planning to introduce player & matchday sponsorship next season to raise extra funds & have already secured a pre-season friendly against Welsh women’s premier league team ‘Port Talbot’ and as the players leave for the summer the future of this club looks very bright indeed, with the retirement of ex England legend Laura there could well be a new Bassett on the women’s football landscape!