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Meet our Women's National League Opponents

Meet our Women's National League Opponents

Following our promotion to the Women's National League, Division 1 South East, the WNL have now confirmed the other teams that will be in our league.

We take a look at who we will be playing next season.

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AFC Sudbury

Founded by father-and-daughter Clive and Natalie Golding. Clive Golding originally set up a girls’ team at Sudbury Wanderers, 26 years ago, where he coached and managed the under-10 side before transporting it over to the newly-amalgamated AFC Sudbury in 1999, where it eventually became AFC Sudbury Ladies in 2002

Last season they finished 10th in the league, one place above the drop zone but by a comfortable eight points. Last season they won the FA Sussex County Cup after beating Stowupland Falcons F.C. Women (Macron Suffolk & Ipswich League) 11-1 in the final in front of 900 fans at Portman Road

They play at the MEL Group Stadium in Sudbury and play in pink but it is more a fuchsia shade.

The MEL Group stadium (formerly the King's Marsh Stadium) has a capacity 2,500, has a 3g pitch and clubhouse facilities. They had an average attendance of 49 in the 2022/23 season.

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Actonians LFC

Actonians LFC was founded in 1998 as Chiswick United, changing their name in 2008 to Actonians.

They won both a regional league title and league cup double in 2014/15, and in 2018/19 they won the Capital Women's Senior Cup final beating Leyton Orient 1–0. They were runners up in the same competition in 2021, losing on penalties to QPR after a 2-2 draw. Last season Actonians finished sixth in the league.

Dulwich recently played Actonians in the Capital Senior Cup in January 2023 when they beat Dulwich 2-0 at Champion Hill.

Actonians play at Rectory Park, Northolt , HQ of Middlesex Football Association, which has a 3G pitch and a capacity of 4,000. They had an average attendance of 49 in the 2022/23 season.

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Ashford Town

A team many of us will be familiar with as they shared the London and South East regional Women’s League with us until their promotion in the 2021/22 season. The women’s section (started in 2015) was run in affiliation with the club.

During that time the First Team has been promoted 5 times. At the start of the 2023/24 season the women’s section was merged fully with Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC.

Last season they finished 4th in the League. Our last encounter with them was in May 2022 in the Capital Cup final where Ashford won 2-0 at Dorking’s Meadowbank Stadium.

The team play at the Robert Parker Stadium in Stanwell which has a capacity of 2,250, a grass pitch and clubhouse facilities. Their average attendance was 56 in the 2022/23 season.

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Cambridge United

Cambridge United Women Football Club was formed in 1992. They were joined in 2015 by Cambridge Women’s Football Club after a merger.

Last season they finish 11th in the league and got to the final of the Women’s National League Plate Final where they were beaten 3-0 by Derby Country at Broadhurst Park, home of FC United of Manchester.

They had previously defeated Barnsley women 3-2 in the semi-final.

Cambridge United play their home games at Rowley Park, home of St Neots FC which has a grass pitch, a capacity of 3,500 and clubhouse facilities. The club also play select matches at the Abbey Stadium.

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Chatham Town FC

In 1995, Gillingham F.C. owner Paul Scally co-opted a local women's football team called Borstal '88. In June 2014, the team was brought back under the banner of the men's football club, Gillingham F.C., after a period as an independent outfit.

In June 2020, Gillingham F.C. announced that, as a result of restructuring necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, they would no longer operate Gillingham Ladies with immediate effect. The club, sanctioned by the FA Women's National League, simultaneously announced a rebrand as Gillingham Women and would continue competing as an independent entity.

In October 2022 Kevin Hake, the manager-chairman of Chatham Town, was announced as owner-chairman of the side, succeeding Josh Oatham. The FA approved a name change to Chatham Town Women before the 2023–24 season.

Last season they finished second from bottom in the National Women's League Southern Premier Division and were relegated.

The team play at The Bauvill Stadium. It has a 3,000 capacity, a grass pitch and clubhouse facilities. Under the Gillingham name, they had an average attendance of 293 in the 2022/23 season.

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Chesham United FC

Chesham United Ladies F.C. were formed in 1995, quickly progressing through the leagues to the FA National League under the guidance of Sian Williams and Lisa Welling.

They finished 9th in the league last season.

Chesham United Ladies play their home games at The Meadow which has a 5,000 capacity, a grass pitch and clubhouse facilities. Their average attendance for the 2022/23 season was 44.

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Dulwich Hamlet FC

2024-25 will mark the sixth season for Dulwich Hamlet Women, since the players and staff of AFC Phoenix merged with the Hamlet in the summer of 2019. Phoenix had worked its way through the ranks of the football pyramid to the London & South East Regional Women’s League (Tier 5) after a title-winning 16-17 season.

After two consecutive second-place finishes and a cup final win, the decision was made to seek out the support the women playing for the club deserved, and merge with an existing men’s club that matched their ethos and ambition. After playing their final league game of the 18-19 season at Champion Hill, narrowly losing to Kent Football United and missing out on promotion, the two clubs would link up and our women’s side was born.

Last season Dulwich Hamlet finished top of the London and South East Regional Women's League earning them promotion to the Women's National League Division One South East League.

They play at Champion Hill which has a capacity of 3,334. Their average attendance in the 2023/24 season was 477 with the record attendance being 1,142 against Enfield Town in April 2024.

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London Bees

The club began in 1975 as District Line Ladies FC, then merged with Wembley FC in 1993 to become Wembley Ladies FC. In 1997 the club moved to play at Hanwell Town FC but kept the Wembley Ladies name. In 1998, the club became affiliated with Barnet FC, amalgamating with the existing Barnet Ladies FC from the Greater London League to form Barnet FC Ladies.

In March 2010 Barnet F.C. Ladies were announced as an unsuccessful bidder for the FA Women's Super League. In 2013, they were successful in their bid to join the WSL under their new name of London Bees for the 2014 season.

In the 2016 FA WSL summer season, London Bees became the first WSL 2 club to reach the semi-finals of the FA WSL Cup, after notable wins against Chelsea Ladies on penalties and Sheffield Ladies in their quarter-final fixture.

They were later defeated in the semi-final by Birmingham City Ladies. In the 2020–21 season, London Bees finished bottom of the Championship and were relegated to the third tier of English women's football. In the 2023/34 season the Bees were again relegated to the National Women’s League Division one South after finishing bottom of the league with only 3 points. Dulwich met London Bees at Champion Hill in the FA Cup first round in November 2023 and beat them 2-0.

The Bees play at the Hive Stadium in Edgeware, home to Barnet FC. The stadium has a capacity of 6,500 and has a grass pitch and clubhouse facilities though their games tend to get played on an auxillary pitch which looks to be a very basic 3G cage with an uncovered terrace along the length of one side with some basic catering facilities. They had an average attendance of 77 in the 2022/23 season

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London Seaward

The club was founded in 2004 as KIKK United by Andrea Berg and Karin Revelj. The team used Mile End Stadium as its home ground. In 2015 the club was given permission by Leyton Orient FC to use the name Leyton Orient W.F.C.

The club would compete in the Greater London Women's Football League, in Division 1 (North) during this time. Despite the name change the club would continue to be run separately from the men's side. In March 2021 Leyton Orient announced that they were planning to form their own women's side and that the existing team would no longer be able to use the name Leyton Orient WFC.

As a result of the loss of their ability to compete as Leyton Orient W.F.C. the club was left in search of a new identity, with the club settling on the name London Seaward as a reference to the historic connection of London with the sea. At the same time, the club began playing its home matches at Wadham Lodge, Walthamstow.

Last season Seaward finished in eighth place in the league In May 2023,and London Seaward announced that from the 2023-24 season the club would play home matches at Oakside Stadium, the ground of Redbridge F.C.

The stadium has a capacity of 3,000, has a grass pitch and clubhouse facilities. In the 2022/23 season their average attendance was 73

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Norwich City Women

The club was originally founded in 1982 and competed in the East Anglian League for their first season before transferring to the Chiltern League. The club dominated both of these leagues until 1987, a spell which included a Women's FA Cup win in 1986 against Doncaster Rovers Belles at Carrow Road. Norwich City appointed former footballer Flo Allen as general manager of the women's side in June 2022.

Scott Emmerson is the current manager, having been appointed to that post in February 2024. Norwich City Women are the current 2023 Norfolk County Cup Champions.

Last season they finished second in the league, seven points behind winner, Wimbledon FC. They also won the Norfolk County Cup, beating Wroxham Women FC (Eastern Region Women's Football League) 6-0 at Carrow Road In April 2023, Norwich City Women played their first match at Carrow Road since their integration into Norwich City F.C. running out 5–3 winners against Ashford Town in an FA Women's National League Division One South East Fixture.

The match was played in front of a large crowd of 7,500 spectators. in March 2024 they played their second match at Carrow Road, drawing 2-2 against Queens Park Rangers in front of a crowd of 5,941 and in played there again inMay 2024 beating Wroxham Women in the Norfolk County Cup in front of 922.

Norwich City Women mainly play their home matches at The Nest, a community sports stadium with 3G pitches. We are unsure of the capacity. In the 2022/23 season their average attendance was 317.

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Queens Park Rangers

The club was founded in 1969, and in 1970 joined the new Home Counties League. In 1975/76, it reached the final of the Women's FA Cup, losing 2-1 to Southampton Women's F.C. after extra time. Paddy McGroarty scored the team's goal, and it was the first time highlights of the match were shown on BBC1. In 1976/77, it again played Southampton in the cup final, and on this occasion, defeated them 1-0, to become the first London team to take the trophy.

The 1977–78 WFA Cup saw them again reach the final against Southampton, but suffer an 8-2 defeat. The team dissolved before the end of the decade. A new Queen's Park Rangers Women's Football Club was later established, which in 2001 merged into a new Queen's Park Rangers L.F.C.

Last season they finished 5th in the league. Dulwich played QPR a number of times when they were in the London and South East Regional Women’s Premier Division. They were promoted to the National League in the 2020/21 season after a successful application due to the season being curtailed by COVID 19.

The team went on to play at the Hanwell Town FC’s ground and have played the occasional game at Loftus Road. From the 2024/25 season, QPR will be based at the TSG Training Centre , QPR’s Training Ground in Cranford.

We played there on a number of occasions in the 2019/20 season and facilities were very sparse but the training centre has recently had a major redevelopment with state of the art facilities put in place. In the 2022/23 season their average attendance was 98.

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Real Bedford

The Club was founded in 1996 as part of the boys club West End FC but It soon became apparent that the objectives of boys’ and girls’ football was very different and they wanted to focus on the needs of the girls and so Bedford Ladies and Girls Football Club was born. In 2014 they won promotion to the FA Women's Premier League Division 1. In the 2021/22 season Real Bedford partnered with Bedford Ladies and Girls and a year later brought them under the Real Bedford umbrella.

Last season the team won the Eastern Region Women’s Football League Premier Division six points clear of Luton Town. They also won the League Cup, beating Wroxham FC 4-2 at Newmark Town FC as well as beating AFC Dunstable 5-0 to win the County Cup.

The team play at McMullen Park in Bedford. In May 2024 the women's team found themselves banned from playing at the stadium by the council due to a new lease extension by the council which the council has since claimed was an error in drafting the lease. As of the time of writing, Real Bedford and the council have still not resolved the lease extension issues with the club claiming the council are imposing unreasonable rent increases season on season.

In May 2024 the club ceased all negotiation with Mayor Tom Wootton and called for his immediate resignation due to his “unacceptable handling of the matter, specifically with the effective ban he wants to place on women's football.”

McMullen Park has a capacity of 1,000 and has a grass pitch.

Information sourced from Wikipedia, club websites and media articles. Average attendances are based on the ground they predominantly play at, not one off stadium games.

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Address

Champion Hill Stadium,
Edgar Kail Way,
East Dulwich,
London.
SE22 8BD.

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