One of the smallest teams not just in WSL 1 but the entire two-tier Women’s Super League, Yeovil Town are facing an impossibly tough 2017-18 season.
A force during the last two seasons in WSL 2, the Lady Glovers finished well back on Reading and the Belles in 2015 but stepped up over the 2016 season to lead the pack for the majority of the year.
A slight slump in form re-opened up the title race, Bristol in with a chance of finishing top and a sniff at promotion for Everton and Durham – although the Somerset side rode the wave and finished top of the tree.
Losing talisman Sarah Wiltshire to a pregnancy part-way through 2016 reminded the side of their over-reliance on the Welsh dynamo but the team did well to come together and find their collective best without her.
Unable to switch to a professional model upon their promotion to WSL 1, the team were always bound to struggle but the issues they had through the Spring Series mounted, from an injury to first choice goalkeeper, Charlotte Haynes – forcing Jamie Sherwood to recruit youngster Megan Walsh – to silly mistakes on the pitch.
The team guilty of the most basic lapses in concentration and errors which routinely gifted their opposition goals and subsequent wins – the mistakes having no place in WSL 2 let alone WSL 1.
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Undoubtedly a family club with a narrow budget, Yeovil’s motto of “Achieve by unity” perfectly sums up not just the club, but Sherwood’s entire philosophy.
After a sobering Spring Series that saw the Lady Glovers finish dead last with just a point to their name and a goal difference of -20 (from eight games), Sherwood has been busy behind the scenes. Working with a micro-budget, the team has done what they can to add to the backroom staff and ensure the best possible conditions for the modest squad to give them every hope of finishing anywhere other than tenth.
As well as Wiltshire departing for Spurs, Dan Carlton, Mollie Clarke, Nathalie Haigh, Charlotte Haynes, Angharad James, Nia Jones, Lucy Quinn, Hannah Short and Steph Williams have all departed.
The team with strong Welsh links have strengthened with the recruitment of some young Dragons, Gemma Evans, Georgia Evans, Chloe Lloyd, Chloe Melton, Hannah Miles, Laura O’Sullivan and Paige Sawyer the new faces around Huish Park.
Boasting a number of players who’ve experienced the rigors of WSL 1 football before with Bristol as well as being gifted a trial-run over the Spring Series, the Lady Glovers at least know what they’re in for over the coming season. Aware that their performances over the Spring weren’t good enough, Yeovil have had all summer to adjust and grow as a team, with little to lose they’ll be looking to make Huish Park a fortress and take points everywhere they can.