ARGYLE Ladies intend to hit the ground running this season when they return to the National League Southern Premier Division which starts in August and the good news is that virtually all of last season’s successful squad have signed for another campaign.
Former Yeovil Town players Helen Bleazard, Natasha Knapman, Jessica Jones and Leah Burridge have all rejected offers to return to the Somerset club, who are expected to be one of the main challengers for the league title.
A delighted joint-manager Trevor Rodd said: “These girls are buying into the project we have here. We have a fantastic partnership with Marjon, where we now train and have the use of their superb facilities.
“Not only that but all of our three teams will be based at the magnificent facility at the Manadon Hub, which was officially opened by former England and Argyle goalkeeper Peter Shilton this week.”
Unfortunately, we will be without talented Cornish teenager Tamsin Medd-Gill, as she has accepted an opportunity to go to the United States having won a soccer scholarship at Davis and Elkins college in West Virginia to study exercise science and psychology and be part of the athletics programme.
Medd-Gill said: “I'm looking forward to joining the Women's Soccer Team at Davis and Elkins College in the USA. This is a great opportunity to develop as a player as a 'student athlete' in the US Soccer system, which places a big emphasis on fitness and athleticism as well as skills and team-work.
“I want to thank everyone at Argyle for helping me get this far and developing me as a player. I can't wait to take the next big step forwards.”
Argyle held their first training session at Marjon on Monday, which was more about assessing their fitness before returning on Wednesday to start training in earnest.
Also leaving is goalkeeper Sarah Prior, who has returned to London. Kelly Vinnicombe broke into the first-team towards the end of the season is off to University in Cardiff, while another youngster, Darcey Hepworth, is off to University to learn to be a paramedic although she will be training with the club until September.
Not at training was Steph Beck, who returns from working in the USA in September and Rodd announced that the club had signed three new players, with details to be released in due course.
Argyle know that finding a goalkeeper is their priority, as our teams suffered last season with the loss of goalkeepers but this looks as if it is being addressed with a couple of promising trialists being looked at.
Rodd was impressed with the first week at training, saying: “We even had someone travel a hundred miles on Monday for training, now that is commitment. Monday was basically more about the fitness tests, while Wednesday was down to actual pre-season training with all three teams involved.”
Argyle are due to play their first pre-season match on Wednesday, July 17 against a Royal Navy representative squad, with venue and time to be confirmed. The make-up of the Development team and the under-18 team will also be announced in due course.
It is a timely reminder that none of these girls are paid and they rely on sponsorship to be able to play. There are plenty of opportunities to sponsor these players and, if interested in partnering Argyle Ladies, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org