Women's Team

Siobhan Hodgetts-Still reflects on first season in charge

Siobhan Hodgetts-Still.

Albion Women head coach Siobhan Hodgetts-Still says she’s “proud” of what her side have managed to achieve as her first campaign in charge ends.

Hodgetts-Still guided the Baggies to a ninth-placed finish in the 2023/24 FAWNL Northern Premier Division.

Although their final game against Newcastle United didn’t go as she’d have liked, the head coach is pleased with the way they’ve played this season.

She said: “We didn’t want to end on a 4-0 loss, but we can take positives from the game compared to last time. We have to see the journey we’ve been on as a team. We didn’t necessarily pick up the points we should’ve at the start of the campaign. 

“We worked on things in the new year and had a great March to help secure a decent finish. My first year has been a great one and I’m proud of the staff and players for what we’ve achieved this year.

“It’s now about having a break to see what we can do to try to build on this year. 

“Let’s take this form into pre-season. I’ll be really excited to see where this group can take us. Now it’s time for some downtime because everyone’s worked so hard.

“I’d like to say a massive thank you for everyone who’s come to support us, whether at Redditch or at The Hawthorns. We really appreciate it. Please do continue to follow us because we want to get better next year.”

Simran Jhamat in action for Albion Women.

Newcastle were Albion’s final visitors to the Valley Stadium this season on Sunday as goals from Tyler Dodds, Kacie Elson, Sharna Wilkinson and Anna Soulsby sealed a victory for the league champions.

Hodgetts-Still said: “Newcastle were excellent today, they’re a great team. The quality they displayed shows why they’re champions.

“In the first half, I thought we competed and created chances.

“After the break, they came out and dominated large parts and converted their chances. We had several chances ourselves, hitting the post, and having a good opportunity in the latter stages.

“If I looked at the two games against them, I think we showed more of our in-possession qualities, got up the pitch more and created more chances compared to the away fixture.

“We’ve taken positives from that but when you go after teams, the gaps open up on transitions. They managed to convert those opportunities.

“When we were at their place away, we didn’t really enter their half much. We were hard to beat and stuck in a low and mid-block for the majority of the game.

“Today, though, we got up the pitch and created opportunities, and went after them a bit more. We just lacked in those areas a little bit a couple of times.”