Hartlepool United Ladies Team Storm The League

Hartlepool United Ladies were set up through a partnership with Hartlepool United and East Durham College back in June 2008 and have proved to be a huge success. The team entered into the Durham County FA Women’s league starting the season in September 08 and proceeded to beat all comers and break all records.

The league has been running for three seasons and this year had 11 teams competing. Hartlepool United Ladies stormed the league and went on to finish at the top as unbeaten champions, being the first team to win every game and in the process scoring over a 100 goals - also a first for the league.

The team was made up of 14 ladies, all in full time education studying at several colleges and universities across the region; 5 from Hartlepool, 5 from Easington District, 1 from Grimsby, 1 from Middlesbrough and 2 from Durham. East Durham College was well represented with a number of current and former students playing in the team. The team in fact featured three players from the England College Football Association Ladies Under19 team (Gemma Dinning, Susan Badger and Lucy Watson). Gemma Dinning finished the season as top scorer averaging an astonishing 5 goals per game.

Ian Prescott, a Director at Hartlepool United and Principal/Chief Executive of East Durham College praised the team’s effort saying, ‘What a fantastic achievement. You should all be very proud of yourselves and also thanks to your families for their support. I saw Gemma recently score against Fulham and it was an absolute blinder. I just wish the first team had had as much success this season!’

In their first season Hartlepool United Ladies were honoured to have the expertise of Manager Gillian Coultard, whom gained over 100 caps for her country during her illustrious playing career.

Denise Collingwood, Curriculum Manager for Sports & Leisure at East Durham College commented, ‘Not only was it great to see so many East Durham College students excelling in the team but virtually all the team had started off in the inaugural Durham County Girls Mini Soccer League Under 10s back in 2001, another successful partnership between the College and the County FA.

The team were presented with the trophy at East Durham College’s new Prescott Sports Centre by the Durham County FA secretary, Mr John Topping, whom has been instrumental in the development of the women’s game here in the North East.

John told the team ‘It has been an amazing achievement to not drop a point and score so many goals. When you move up to the next league tier and play in the North East Regional Women’s League, I’m sure you will have a great chance of fighting for top honours. On behalf of everyone at the County FA we wish you every success next season.’