Stourbridge: Aiming To Go All The Way In Achieving Success In The National League

Andy Fisher (left). By Anthony Dunn (Focus Dunn Photography)

Stourbridge FC Women has made an impressive start to their National League Division 1 Midlands campaign as they currently sit top of the table after nine games played. The Glassgirls bounced back after an opening-day defeat away to Sheffield FC Women and have since gone on to achieve victories over Doncaster Rovers Belles, Peterborough United, and Sporting Khalsa amongst other teams. The month of October saw Stourbridge go undefeated and Andy Fisher awarded manager of the month by the National League.

A whirlwind start to the season

On how the season has gone so far, manager Andy Fisher said it has gone fantastically well and feels like a bit of a whirlwind to be in the position they are in. He added, “it’s non-stop you know with training. Every week has been a different challenge with a different focus which is obviously football but you know the more in-depth stuff we are having to do now because of our opposition. It’s a world we are all enjoying and loving”.

With such a good start to the season, Andy Fisher had said before the league campaign started that Stourbridge was not just going to be making up the numbers in the National League. During the press conference given to the Glass Girls Network YouTube channel, the question was put to the manager no matter what happens for the rest of the season that you have proving that statement true.

Fisher added, “No I think because you lose games from this point onwards which can happen in this league, it would just be that Stourbridge had a good couple of months at the start of the season. Other teams improved and worked out Stourbridge and we finished mid-table or below. You could say if we stay in the league we haven’t just made up the numbers. We have to continue that momentum that anything less than being in the top three would be a failure.”

Niamh Deasy on playing for Stourbridge

Striker Niamh Deasy who joined the press conference alongside the manager explained in the five months since arriving at the club that she is loving every minute of it. She said that everyone has been so welcoming from the manager, coaches, fellow players, and the fans too. 

Photos: Anthony Dunn (Focus Dunn Photography)

Deasy has been in prolific form so far this season contributing 16 goals across all competitions. On how she has transitioned from playing in tier 5 to tier 4, Deasy said it is obviously a big jump and that having a strong playing squad has helped in this aspect. At her previous club Sutton Coldfield, she played up top on her own and is now adapting to having at least three other players around her connecting all parts of the pitch and feeding those balls through.

She also praised the support from the fans as it was not something she had been use to before. Deasy likes the passion shown and it is like having a 12th man around the pitch to help you.

Planning for the long-term

Fisher was asked if Stourbridge intends to create links with other Midland clubs at a higher level to bring in players on loan in the future especially if they were to reach the Women’s National League Premier Division. He said “We are always open to links with teams. We have had good links with Birmingham City and have received support with players such as Hannah Fishwick and Connie Dutton. If we reach the National Prem that this is something we would definitely be open to.”

The National League has a number of historically significant teams competing and Fisher explained that Stourbridge is always planning for the long term. He said, “We have a plan to ensure we sustain National league status and if we progress up the ladder. The club provides 100% backing of the women’s team to succeed and climb the ladder. The target was always from day 1 to reach tier 3 and the championship. We will continue to ensure plans are in place to support this. The plans around the club, women’s section, and girls’ section are growing and continue to be part of a long-term plan”.

Being a role model for the younger players

Striker Niamh Deasy was asked how does it feel to be a role model to the Stourbridge girls’ section and someone they look up to.

“I think that’s great and to see how much it means to them when we are winning. There’s nothing better than three points and seeing their excited faces, and the passion they show and it strives you to be better”.

Ambitions for the rest of the season

As we nearly reached the halfway stage of the season, one of Niamh Deasy’s ambitions had been to reach double figures in terms of goals which has been achieved. She explained her target would now be to hit 20 or 25 goals for the season but also help her teammates in their scoring efforts.

Manager Andy Fisher also reflected as they head into a busy period of games until Christmas. He said if things go well which started with the victory over Leafield Athletic in the National League Plate, then there is a good run of cup games to come including the FA Cup, County Cup, and the main focus on continuing the good form in their league campaign.

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