London Seaward, formerly Leyton Orient WFC, on their progress in the women’s league By
With not too long to go until the end of the FA Women’s National Leagues, London Seaward FC is sitting mid-table, despite starting the season in uncharted waters after we went independent, following our split from Leyton Orient.
We first introduced ourselves back in the November Echo, when we had just secured our new home at Wadham Lodge, thanks to the support of local friends Stow FC, Wood Street Walls and MP Stella Creasy.
We play in Division One South East, the fourth tier of the women’s football pyramid, and have only three games left to play this term. On first glance at the league table, things look comfortable and, though we’re still waiting to see if we’ve done enough to secure safety, our season so far gives us some cause for confidence. We collected three points against big footballing names such as Norwich City, AFC Wimbledon and Cambridge United, who we beat 2-0 in a match last November. That said, with four of the 13 sides set to go down this year, it might not be a March that is jam-packed with fixtures but it certainly won’t be a relaxing one either.
Manager Dan McKimm and Scout Harry Warren have been doing an excellent job on player recruitment, with three great signings in the new year. Defender Alex Gatt, keeper Jamie-Lee Bamford and young striker Ellie Pace have all slotted nicely into the starting eleven. Gatt, a rising star from Malta, recently returned from her international duties as Malta’s U18s Captain.
Off the pitch, the players have been putting in a huge effort to make this club a success, with the committee being made up primarily of first team players: Fenner(1), Anderson (3), Barton(10) and Butler(17) are running social media, finances, meetings and fixtures, respectively.
Having inherited the management of the club with no previous experience of the world beyond the pitch, the female-led committee have proven their ambition and resilience. A few highlights include: raising over £8000 in 28 days through a Crowdfunder campaign, securing Pro Direct Soccer and Adidas kit sponsorship and investment from pub chain Greene King, building links with Loughborough University London and supporting internships at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre.
The team celebrate with fans after a win last October (credit: touchtightmedia)
Club secretary Jo Butler, said: “When I moved to London as a fresh-faced graduate to work at the council, I certainly didn’t expect to be helping run a fourth tier football club in my spare time. It hasn’t been ‘plain sailing’ but I as I look back on everything we have achieved this year, as a team, on and off the pitch I am so proud. As a club we really believe in developing people, not just players, and with loads of opportunities to get involved, we’d love to hear from fans.”
With strong foundations now in place, London Seaward FC are set for a quality 2022/23 season, which starts in August.
Bag yourself a half price season ticket for next season (which includes FA Cup games) by emailing [email protected] with the subject line ‘Seaward in the Echo’ – RRP £60 buy now at £30.