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Haverhill Rovers Ladies' hard work rewarded with promotion




The dream seemingly died in April, but late last week there was cause for celebration among Haverhill Rovers Ladies connections as their promotion was confirmed.

Rovers were S-Tech Women’s Premiership leaders when Covid-19 halted all sport, and after the Football Association took the decision to expunge the 2019/20 results, clubs were informed that promotion and relegation had been scrapped.

However, to ensure the stability of the women’s pyramid going forward, some clubs were subsequently invited to apply for promotion and Rovers’ bid has been successful.

FOOTBALL - Haverhill Rovers Ladies v Peterborough Northern Star Reserves..Pictured: Sian Cotterell scoring for Haverhill....PICTURE: Mecha Morton ... (36505875)
FOOTBALL - Haverhill Rovers Ladies v Peterborough Northern Star Reserves..Pictured: Sian Cotterell scoring for Haverhill....PICTURE: Mecha Morton ... (36505875)

It rubber stamped back-to-back promotions for Haverhill, who will be an Eastern Region Women’s Football League Division One North outfit in 2020/21.

Head coach Joe White said: “I am really happy that the players have got what they deserved.

“We were top of the league, had the most wins, least losses and least goals conceded when football stopped. We were top of pretty much each of those type of tables.

Haverhill Rovers Ladies first pre-season outing.Coach Joe White.Rovers v Royston Development.. (36505839)
Haverhill Rovers Ladies first pre-season outing.Coach Joe White.Rovers v Royston Development.. (36505839)

“It has all been down to hard work and it is great to see where we are now.

“Our plan was always to get back into the ERWFL and while some people wrote us off, we used that as fuel.

“I cannot thank everyone at the club enough. A lot of people have supported us right from the start and been behind us all the way.”

White’s attention has now switched to preparing for life at a higher level and ensuring Rovers remain competitive.

Haverhill Rovers Ladies lose 3-2 at home to Leverington Sports Ladies in S-Tech Women's Premiership, for just second defeat of their league campaign. Picture: Sean Doyle (36800438)
Haverhill Rovers Ladies lose 3-2 at home to Leverington Sports Ladies in S-Tech Women's Premiership, for just second defeat of their league campaign. Picture: Sean Doyle (36800438)

New players could well be incoming – and Semma Halil has already been recruited from AFC Sudbury – but White is also confident the current squad are more than capable of making the step up.

“The players we have can compete, I am sure of that,” added White.

“If other players will add quality to us then it is something we will look at, but we have a good young squad and I have no worries about how they are going to adapt.

“We are planning to start some small group work soon because the hard work starts now.

FOOTBALL - AFC Sudbury Ladies v ACLE in the SSE Womens FA Cup..Pictured: Semma Halil ..PICTURE: Mecha Morton... .. (36505947)
FOOTBALL - AFC Sudbury Ladies v ACLE in the SSE Womens FA Cup..Pictured: Semma Halil ..PICTURE: Mecha Morton... .. (36505947)

“There has already been a lot of hard work put in, but at times it is harder to stay there than getting up, so we need to be fully prepared.”

Meanwhile, on the addition of Halil, who has also played for Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient, White said: “She will add quality to our squad.

“Semma has higher-league experience and that will be important to our dressing room.

“She can also play wide or up front, and that versatility gives us more options.”

Rovers have also marked the curtailed 2019/20 campaign with a batch of end-of-season awards.

Haverhill Rovers Ladies first pre-season outing.Beth Harding.Rovers v Royston Development.. (36505942)
Haverhill Rovers Ladies first pre-season outing.Beth Harding.Rovers v Royston Development.. (36505942)

Kayleigh Nolan was named Manager’s Player, while the Supporters’ award went the way of Beth Harding.

The other award winners were: Georgina Westrope (Players’ Player), Emma Barnes (Young Player) and Kayleigh Steed (Assistant Manager’s Player).


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