Ahead of the start of the FA Women’s Super League 2 (FA WSL 2) Spring Series, Richard Laverty previews each team.
Millwall moved back up the FA WSL 2 table by one spot last season, taking advantage of a floundering Oxford United in what was a solid if unspectacular season. Running on a low budget, Millwall lost manager Rebecca Sawiuk after the first half of the season and Lee Burch took charge for the remainder of the campaign.
Now fully focusing on 2017, Millwall have a new home and have already tied down several key players to new contracts for the Spring Series. There are new signings on the way which are yet to be announced and it will be interesting to see if Millwall can start to climb the table this year. Either way, with Oxford and Watford struggling, Millwall may have some time on their hands to get things right in 2017.
Where to Find Millwall
St. Paul’s Sports Ground, Bermondsey
Lee Burch is going into his first full season in charge of the Lionesses after taking charge after the summer break last year.
Formerly a Skills Coach for the FA working on the south coast, Burch took the opportunity to step into management and results picked up slightly with Millwall losing just two of their last six games of the season.
There’s not a lot to say about Ashlee Hincks that hasn’t already been said and she showed her key qualities throughout a tough campaign for Millwall. Taking over the captaincy under Burch, Hincks has played at Charlton under Keith Boanas and was formerly a Chelsea player. Scoring six goals last season and contributing four assists, it’s a huge bonus for the club that Hincks has committed her future to the Lionesses.
Another of Millwall’s most experienced players, it looked quite the coup when Bonnie Horwood left Reading in FA WSL 1 for Millwall. Taking on the No. 7 shirt, Horwood adds vast experience to Millwall’s midfield and can offer the perfect guidance to the club’s youngsters as she embarks on her first full season at the club.
The 21-year-old offers the youth and exuberance alongside Horwood and has a decent CV for a player her age. She was rated highly enough in Scotland to be taken on by Arsenal’s academy before former player Jayne Ludlow took her to Reading. Nicol’s got all the talent and ability to have a bright career and 2017 is a big year for her to settle down at Millwall and hit top form.
One to Watch
The 16-year-old is the next generation of Millwall’s midfield. Already a key part of England’s youth sides, Rutherford may get more of a chance under Burch this year with several players having left the club. While Rutherford doesn’t need rushing at her age, she’s an exciting prospect and one Millwall will be keen to keep on their books for as long as possible.
Millwall are yet to confirm their signings for the Spring Series but the club have new players signed on and will announce in due course. They have, though, extended deals for the likes of Hincks, Billie Brooks, Nicol, and Megan Wynne among others and are well set to be able to build on what Burch is doing during the Spring Series. The loss of talented youngster Grace Fisk is a blow as she embarks on her journey in the United States.
Spring Series Prediction: 8th