As the Women face Pagham Ladies this Sunday in The FA Cup, Michelle Lawrence hopes the new signings will have a real impact.
- Yates (67')
- Gilanni (80')
- Worsfold (21', 55')
- Tubby (65')
Lawrence arrived at Woodside Road this summer after previously working at Fulham, Brighton & Hove Albion and The Football Association.
Worthing formed their women’s side only three years ago and Lawrence feels the club should be aiming to reach the National League within five years.
She arrived at Worthing after speaking to captain Hannah Hewlett, whose enthusiasm attracted her to the role, and Lawrence has been quick to add new faces to the squad.
Former Brighton youth forwards Beth Kincaid and Sara Tubby have joined from Chichester and Worthing Town respectively.
Midfielder Chloe Lelliott, who spent time with Albion’s Academy, has also joined along with Sara Hinton, who has played for Brighton and Littlehampton.
Goalkeeper Amy Coster has moved to Woodside Road from South East Parakeets, while former Brighton, Fulham, Lewes and Chichester defender Tammy Waine and ex-Brighton and Lewes defender Rebecca Thompson have also put pen to paper.
The new arrivals have their sights set on promotion from the South East Counties League Premier Division.
Worthing begin their season with a FA Cup tie at Pagham on Sunday and on her aims for the season, Tubby said: “As a forward, I want to be scoring goals regularly and enjoying my time out on the pitch. As a team I think we can win the league and gain promotion.”
Thompson added: “I want to play an integral role in keeping the defence strong and in shape, so that we concede minimally. Promotion is definitely a target for us this season.”
Lawrence has worked at a higher level for much of her career and she is determined to succeed at Worthing: “My commitment to the women’s game is unwavering and I will work tirelessly to ensure the players have every opportunity to succeed.
“It has been important to make realistic demands of the players but those that were here last season will have seen a noticeable change in expectations, and I hope professionalism.
“Of course I want to create a fun and challenging learning environment but the club are clear in their ambitions for their women’s team, and I hope the players will relish the challenges that lie ahead.”
Looking ahead to the new season, Lawrence added: “If effort and hard work transmits to results, I would like to think we can challenge for promotion, and if the cup draws are favourable enjoy a cup run.
“Success though will not simply be based on results – although that’s what I will be judged on I am sure.
“I am keen to recruit more volunteers, grow spectator numbers, increase sponsorship and develop a programme of activity that harnesses our relationship within the local community.
“Worthing Football Club has such potential, and if I can play some part in helping them to realise that potential, I will be happy.”
On the goal of reaching the National League within five years, Lawrence said: “Worthing Women were only formed three years ago but there is no reason why the team should not aspire to be playing in the FA Women’s National League Southern Division within five years.
“But much work has to be done behind the scenes to develop the infrastructure to support progression through the leagues.”
Chairman Pete Stone is excited about what the future holds for the women’s team and said: “I’ve said many times, Worthing is a big town and deserves a big football club, which means having a thriving and successful Women’s team alongside the men. We have some way to go but success needs a vision and great people, with Michelle and the team she is building then we are on the way”.