Richard Laverty previews each team before the FA Women’s Super League (FA WSL 1) Spring Series begins on April 22.
Running on a tight budget and a small reputation, Yeovil Town bounced back from disappointment in 2015 to not just seal promotion last year, but to do it by winning the league.
While the step up is set to be huge for a team without the resources to strengthen in every position needed, Yeovil’s spirit and determination will hopefully stand them in good stead and a bedding-in period during the Spring Series will be crucial for them.
Where to Yeovil
Huish Park, Yeovil
Jamie Sherwood had the pedigree for the big time and showed it by taking Cardiff City Ladies to the Southern Division Championship title and a Premier League cup final against current FA WSL 2 side Sheffield FC.
Sherwood took over at Yeovil in 2014 and set about building a squad capable of challenging for promotion to FA WSL 1. Yeovil showed their potential in 2015 and Sherwood’s belief in the 3-5-2 formation should help the squad adapt to a league in which the system is becoming increasing popular.
Now a household name around Yeovil, the attacker isn’t due back for a while yet after giving birth to her first child last year but has spent several years showing what she’s all about and still nearly ended up as top scorer last season despite missing a large part of the campaign. Her talent was such that Manchester City signed her up at the start of 2015 but Wiltshire quickly returned to unfinished business at Yeovil.
Captain Curson has been at the club since just before Sherwood took charge of the side and has made herself an integral part of his plans ever since. Curson played every single game during last year’s FA WSL 2 campaign and deservedly got her hands around the trophy as Yeovil celebrated promotion to the top division.
Center back Green joined Yeovil just in time for the 2016 campaign after returning from international duty with Wales. Green worked with Sherwood during their time together at Cardiff City and the Welsh international slotted straight into the heart of Yeovil’s defense seamlessly during the campaign.
One to Watch
While it’s not always a conventional move to place a goalkeeper in the “One to Watch” category, Haynes was superb between the sticks for Yeovil last season despite being one of the younger players in the squad. Keeping clean sheet after clean sheet, it will be interesting to see how Haynes adapts to coming up against the likes of Toni Duggan, Eni Aluko, and Beth Mead during the Spring Series.
Like Bristol, a tight budget meant it was a slow start to the winter for Yeovil, who didn’t want to blow their budget on any one player. Sherwood has looked to recruit experience by bringing in Welsh international Nia Jones and defender Natalie Haigh has returned to the club.
Yeovil have kept a hold of key players including Curson but were dealt a blow when key signing Helen Ward announced her pregnancy two weeks ago. England beach soccer player Mollie Clark joined the club last week but no doubt Sherwood will be looking at more signings when the window opens up again in June.