Sutton United
Graham Hedley on Sutton United

Sutton United Ladies are preparing for start of the football season, their second in the Premier Division of the Greater London Women’s Football League after promotion in 2018.  The league is at level 6 of the pyramid – so we could be seeing Sutton United take on the giants of the women’s game in only five years’ time! 

But that’s getting a little ahead of ourselves. The season doesn’t start until 15th September, and only the team finishing 1st will be promoted.  Before the league season starts, there’s the small matter of a meeting with Islington Borough Ladies, in the Preliminary Round of the FA Women’s Cup. Both teams were exempt from the Extra Preliminary Round, so are both making the first 

appearance in this season’s competition (Only another ten rounds to go before the Final at Wembley!).     

Sutton United have a small squad of 21 players, but have an active Development side, as well as bringing through young players from the under-16 team. Duncan Muller, Head of Ladies’ Football, has said “It’s a massive achievement for Sutton United Ladies, I mean it’s been 30 years we had a ladies’ team at the club… Our aim is to provide football for girls and ladies, from under-8s to adults, and ideally keep that within the community.  No matter how well or how big the ladies’ section at the club gets… AFC Wimbledon are doing it pretty well down the road but that’s not in our area and no one is doing it on the scale we’re doing it in Sutton.”   

Graduates from the Development team include Erin McNicholas (the team’s highest scorer last season, with eleven goals) and Jennifer Neves, who won the Player Development Award.   With Erin joining the First team’s top scorer from last season, Faye Butler (20 goals), the Amber and Chocolates must have a good chance of improving on year’s eighth place.   

It isn’t only opposing teams who want to stop Faye Butler, Cindy Colliver does too.   Last season Faye won both Player of the Year awards (from the players and the from the manager), leaving Cindy as runner-up in both categories. 

With the development Team providing new candidates for selection for the First Team, the future’s bright – the future’s amber and chocolate!