Super Stafford celebrating first title triumph
Stafford Town girls under-16s are celebrating their first title success.
The talented teenagers were leading the Staffordshire Girls’ and Ladies League table by four points – having lost just one of their 13 games – when the action was prematurely halted because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It left the team with a nervous wait to see if their efforts would be rewarded or whether the season would be declared null and void.
But the league decided that the final standings would be decided on an average points per games played basis, meaning Town were crowned champions.
The season marked an amazing turnaround for the squad, who had never finished higher than mid-table in their previous seven years in the competition.
They started the season with an 11-match unbeaten run – and only had a few games to play when grassroots football was put on ice. They also boasted the league’s top scorer with Faye Butler hitting 28 goals in her 16 appearances.
Captain Saskia Conaghan said she was relieved the decision was made to have a conclusion of the league rather than expunging all results.
“I was so pleased because I felt we deserved to be crowned champions after all the hard work we put in during the season and using the average points system seemed to be the fairest way to decide the league,” she said. “With everything else that has been going on lately it is nice to have some good news.
“If, at the start of the season, someone had said we would be at the top of the table with very few games to go I would not have believed it – seeing that we are usually mid to bottom half of the table.”
The team – made up of year 10 and 11 girls – and their families and friends are now waiting patiently until the country comes out of lockdown to celebrate the achievement.
Manager Stuart Goddard added: “We are all really proud of the girls and what they have achieved this year.
“They have been together many years now and have grown as a team. But we never thought we would be in this position and I’m just glad all their hard work has been rewarded.”