Monday, 5 November 2007

The Womens Team - the Story So Far

Well we had a great World Cup, only being beaten in the semis by the former winners and the beaten finalists the USA. Contributions were made by our former stars including Casey Stoney, but thats wheer harltons contribution to Womens Football in this season really looks like ending. After the chanagrins of the close season and relegation, the departure of the full squad, at the 11 th hour Peter Varney was able to save the womens team, but to what end?

I was relatively voiciferous about the demise of the womens team, the whole bthing was handled badly from a PR perspective and Bonas did the club no favours by letting the cat out of the bag to the team. The uproar generated a press outrage that had roots possibly in the departure of Dowie as much as a real care of the press for Charltons women. As a result PV and his teamsought new routes of funding, ultimately bringing to gether various community aspects, sadly too late to maintain the team playing personnel who had all gone and got them selves new clubs.

The result has beenm that we have a team coached by Charlton legend Paul Mortimer, taking the Womens Premier League by storm and leading unbveaten on their way to the Championship .................. Sadly thats the fantasy. A team of hopefuls were put together at the last minute and it shows, losing every game so far and failing to score a goal - two 5-0's and 6-0, it does not auger well. Instead of sitting on top of the League they languish at the bottom, possibly as laughing stock, which is a shame as the girls are giving their all, its just that they are not good enough.

PV was on a hiding to nothing, my personal view is that once the damage was done they should have stuck to their guns, failing that they should have entered at a lower level, where they could have competed, whatever yopur feelings about the womens game, nobody is going to follow a team that is hammered every week and we should have realised that.

Some message board are already asking where are the supporters who supported the retention of a womens team, well it was never about attendances. i never go to reserve games, but I want us to win them and I would protest loudly if we were to disband the team. If we survive next season the i hope we compete at a lower level and build the team back up over 2 -3 seasons and the club gets behind the team in its marketing. They will need to be cleverer than the recent offer to fans of free tickets, a couple of days before a weekday fixture. I remember seeing us beaten by Arsenal at the Valley to a crowd of 3,000 and talking to converts. The re building process behind the womens section is going to be a long process and now I am not so sure it is worth it.

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