Southern division winner gets promoted to the National division.
There are 3 teams still in it. Colchester United, Porstmouth and West Ham.
Colchester United lead the division with 35 points and a +16 goal difference but has already played the whole schedule. West Ham is second with 31 points a _15 goal difference and 2 games to play. Porstmouth has 30 points a goal difference extremely favorable of +22 and 3 games to play. Porstmouth is the virtual leader and 7 points out of 9 would clinch promotion due to the goal difference.
Here are the upcoming games.
Gillingham – Portsmouth 22/01 A tough away games at Gills, Porstmouth will certainly need to come back with at least a point from that trip.
QPR – West Ham 22/01 A must win for West-Ham against a QPR side fighting to avoid relegation.
Portsmouth – Plymouth 26/02 A home win is needed against Plymouth also fighting to avoid relegation
West Ham -Brighton 04/03 West Ham schedule finished on the day and need also a win against a side that was in the promotion race until recently.
QPR – Portsmouth 18/03 Final verdict on that day maybe with QPR that might be safe by that time of the season.
Even if Porsmouth is in the driving seat, I can foresee West Ham gaining promotion this season, leaving Pompey missing promotion again.
Casey Stoney : Experience, reading of the game, intelligence. She has everyhting that you would want from a senior and seasoned international player.
Gilly Flaherty : She would complement perflectly Stoney, excellent passer, can tackle as well and has vast experience at top level for 3 seasons including Champions League
Kylie Davies : A very solid and reliable center-back for Chelsea and Wales. She knows what she has to do and does it very well.
Laura Bassett : Another solid and experienced defender, versatile as well.
Sophie Bradley : Very much a defender-defender, solid but could better on the ball.
Rachel Corsie : The Scotland defender is a young up and coming defender.
Others center-back worth a mention are Fern Whelan but she seems to have limitation on ball passing and Faye White who has not been performing well for a few years now.
The Cardiff team has started to catch up with other teams in term of game played and has now 9 games to complete the season while others have 3,4, 5 or 6 to do so. Mathematically they could still catch up Sunderland by winning all their remaining games. So let’s have a look on the very busy schedule. As far as I see, there are still 4 games to be scheduled so far. it looks like a giant mess to me and not a really fair competition.
08/01 Cardiff v Charlton
15/01 Cardiff v Leeds postponed + international friendlies
22/01 Sunderland v Cardiff , title decider a must win.
29/01 No Game ?
05/02 FA Cup
12/02 international friendlies
19/02 No Game ?
26/02 FA Cup or Cardiff v Sunderland, another title decider !
04/03 Algrave Cup
11/03 FA Cup
18/03 Cardiff v Forrest , could be a relegation race decider
25/03 FA Cup
01/04 Euro qualifiers or Barnet v Cardiff
08/04 Cardiff v Coventry
15/04 FA Cup
22/04 open date 7
29/04 open date 8
06/05 open date 9
13/05 open date 10
20/05 open date 11
27/05 open date 12
With the good news that Hope Powell has selected Welsh players in her pre-squad for her 2012 Olympics. Let’s have a look at the potential candidates starting with the goalkeepers.
Carly Telford : a fantastic athlethe, clearly the best English goalkeeper, the only question mark is her fitness with her recurrents shoulder problem.
Karen Bardsley : England’s current number 1 tall solid strong in the air.
Siobhan Chamberlain : Best goalkeeper in England by a mile in 2011, deserve to be at the Olympics.
So those are the 3 main candidates for 2 places in the Olympic squad. If one of those is injured, there are some obvious 4th and 5th choice
Rebecca Spencer : Not the tallest player but Japan won the World Cup with a small goalkeeper. Technically very complete and has bags on international experience.
Marie Hourihan : A solid season wtih blues and a regular with the U23 side.
There are other talented goalkeepers in England like Danielle Hill, Sarah Quantrill, Helen Alderson, Mary Earps, Kay Hawke or Rachel Brown but I don’t think they are at the same level as the 5 players above. Same thing for the Welsh and Scottish goalkeepers except the one that is now in the Scottish 6 nations rugby squad 😉
The top 4 goalies make my shortlist.
Alex Scott A world class player, the typical modern full back who has all the skills needed for the job.
Dunia Susi Scott’s usual deputy, very versatile can also play on right wing and left wing.
Lucy Bronze coming back from many injuries a great prospect
Chelsea Weston a solid defender excellent crosses and powerful defender
Loren Dykes still learning the job with Wales
Kerry Manley well she has been selected in the pre-list,I don’t think she is at the same level as the others by far.
The top 2 right-backs make my shortlist.
Those are the transfers officially announced as of today by the FA WSL clubs for December 2011 :
In : Alex Scott ( Boston Breakers) 3 games loan
Out : Rebecca Spencer (ASJ Soyaux )
Out : Stephanie Curtis ( Bristol)
Out : Sue Smith, Leandra Little ( Doncaster )
In : Stephanie Curtis ( Birmingham )
Out : Katie Sherwood ( Chelsea )
In : Katie Sherwood ( Bristol )
In : Sue Smith , Leandra Little ( Lincoln )
Sue Smith seems to me a Beckham-like marketing signing for the Belles. As her performance level has not been very high recently. Katie Sherwood to Chelsea just surprising as well as there are many central midfielder that are better than her in E ngland ( 20 to 30) and Chelsea should be looking for top class player really if they want to fight for the title next season.
Claire Rafferty An obvious number 1 choice here.
She has no real competition and has everything you demand from a left back.
Kerys Harrop A great back-up choice for Rafferty has done very well there for Birmingham over the season, has a powerful left foot.
Sophie Perry a solid left back very strong technically and strikes the ball well and can integrate easily in an attacking system/team.
Those are the 3 main choices. I would have had Michelle Hickmott on the list as well but I haven’t seen her on teamsheet for a long time.
Rachel Unitt is not on my list simply because I would only consider her as a center back as she can’t cope with the pace of players like Rapinoe, Thomis or HAO. There are 2 superb prospect in the U19 side Meaghan Sargeant and Alex Greenwood but they are probably a year or two short of experience to compete with Rafferty and Harrop.
The top 2 left-backs make my shortlist.
GK: 4 Telford Chamberlain Bardsley Spencer
RB: 2 Scott Susi
LB: 2 Rafferty Harrop
CB: 6 Stoney Flaherty Davies Bassett Bradley Corsie
DM: 3 Chapman Asante Williams
CM: 3 Scott Nobbs Ludlow
AM: 4 Little Carney Smith Buet
RW: 2 Davison Fishlock
LW: 2 Yankey Clarke
CF: 4 White Dowie Williams Sanderson
Multi-task: 2 Beattie Houghton
The final 18 would be decided on form, fitness and overall squad shape with multi-tasking player given priority over position specialist.
I went to that game yesterday mainly to watch 2 players that I like Kelley Blanchflower and Kate Longhurst.
The weather was freezing cold and it was the most unusual game as the home team scored all the girls and ended up loosing the game 2-1. As I said to my friend during the game, typical English game with passion and commitment. It took about 30 minutes to register a shoot on target actually. Col U fail to win that game in my opinion because they did not have luck with a few referee’s decision and also because they did not use enough the direct ball into the penalty area where West Ham struggle to clear crosses and set pieces fro the whole game.
That game was decisive as it was Colchester United last game for the season and needed every point on board as West Ham Portsmouth have respectively 2 and 3 on hand with them and trailing by 4 and 5 points behind them now.
The Southern division promotion race is very open and we might not know for a long time who will win the League and therefore get promoted.
Full game report by Patrick Higgins can be found at http://www.womenssoccerscene.co.uk/
Star player : Jess Barling ( West-Ham) 2 assists from the left-back position.
After highlighting Cardiff City bizzare schedule with many games to play until May, let’s have a look at Colchester United League schedule. The U play in the WPL Southern Division and will complete their league season tomorrow against West Ham.
As incredible as it seems for a season that started at the end of August, their season is nearly finished. Therefore comes the question what will they do for the next 6 months ? Train for 6 months ?
The answer is cup games and we know a cup run can end very quickly. Col U will be away to Gillingham on the 8th of January and then the League Cup format with group stage will give them another 4 games to play minimum, so that the season will stretch until middle March which would make only a 3 months break before the 2012-13 season. Not too bad LOL.