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Winter 2019Rochdale AFC Ladies go from strength to strength

Rochdale AFC Ladies’ open age team has made a good start to the 2019/20 season.

After a successful season of development last year, Emma Thetford’s side have really kicked on in the build-up to the winter months, securing emphatic wins over Bolton Wanderers and a 7-1 victory over Urmston Meadowside.

The ladies’ team started back in 2015 and, in just over four years, has gone from a collective of 14 to over 100 girls from age ranges of 9 upwards, including a range of BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) diverse groups.

“We had a bit of a slow start to the season but we have all been working hard at training and on match days,” said Thetford.

“We now find ourselves in a run of six unbeaten games and top of League One heading into November.

“The players are working hard in training and are really benefiting from our close relationship with the Soccer Factory.

“Having the nine versus nine pitch available to us means we can work on game-like scenarios which then helps us put our learning into practice in matches.

“It also has the benefit of being indoors, which is an added bonus, especially with the wet and cold wintery nights drawing in.

“We have a strong and talented squad. Our aim this season is to continue working hard and keep improving individually as well as a team, and hopefully the results will continue to follow.

“Having the backing and support from Rochdale Football Club and our sponsor, Jonathan James Lettings, is extremely important to us and being able to play in the Rochdale AFC kit helps us to feel part of the club.”

The winter months will be tough for the side, but Thetford is hoping her side can push on at the top of League One.

The ladies’ sessions, operated by the Dale Sports Trust, run every Wednesday evening at the Soccer Factory in Castleton, where youngsters up to under-13s can enjoy sessions from 5pm to 6pm, whilst those over this age can play from 6pm till 7pm. Sessions are open to everybody, no matter what experience you have of playing.