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  • David Gribble

ECFC Women | Season Preview (part one)

Participation in Women's football has doubled in recent years, over three million women and girls now play the sport in the UK.

That figure may receive another boost with the European Championships taking place in England in 2022, and with the Women's Super League securing TV deals with both the BBC and Sky Broadcasting, the visibility for Women’s football has never been greater. At Exeter City, the development of Women and Girl's football is progressing at pace. With the Girls Development Centre encouraging participation and offering sustained coaching, players then have the opportunity to progress into the Football Academy at Exeter College.

This partnership has seen plenty of reward in recent years as young players have made the step into Senior football after flourishing within the College set up.

Alongside the senior team, there is also a Development team at the Club. This offers the perfect route for younger City players to experience senior football. An experience that showed its worth last season as the team advanced to the Devon County Supplementary Cup Final. The ambitions are in place. The team became Champions of Devon for the first time in over six years this past season and momentum is strong. Focus will now be on gaining promotion to further eclipse Devon rivals Plymouth Argyle and cement the Grecians' place as the best team in Devon.

An early opportunity to get on over our Devon rivals will come in the first round of the Devon County Cup in October 17, as City look to get past the Pilgrims early on in a bid to retain their title.

Management duo Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley have made some astute summer signings and, with the successful squad from last season retained, the talk is of Championships not consolidation, whilst a good FA Cup run will also be high on the list of targets this team want to achieve in 2021/2022.

Whilst, in coordination with the Community Trust, the team continue to improve the infrastructure around the Women's set up, for supporters, the best way you can help is to come along to games.

The team play on Sunday Afternoon's and offer a high action, technique based, style of football that makes for a great spectacle. The team are well led by Captain Manfy Sharpe, a City fan at heart and representative of many of the group.

A group that grew up wishing to wear the famous red and white but perhaps not believing they ever could, well, now they do, and are winning medals to go alongside the experience.

With coverage of the team improving, alongside a more professional approach being funded in the player's match preparation, the team is set to continue the success achieved in recent seasons. Come along and support Exeter City Women in 2021/2022, beginning with tomorrow's home fixture against Poole Town.

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