After an incredible debut season, Newhaven Ladies have been informed that they have been promoted to the South East Counties Women’s Football League Premier Division.

This represents a huge achievement for the team and one that everyone at the club is really excited about.

It also represents a first for Sussex grassroots football. The traditional route for teams promoted from the SCWGFL is to enter the SECWFL East or West Division and then proceed to the Premier if successful. The decision was taken to promote the Ladies straight to the Premier Division, which is testament to the hard work put in in their first ever season.

The Dockers won every single game they played in the 2017/18 season, completing a historic treble by winning the league title, challenge trophy and league cup.

The club would like to thank everyone involved with the Sussex County Women and Girls Football League, where the Dockers played last season, especially Paul Preston and Russy Brooks. The work they do in promoting ladies and girls football locally is superb, and to give hundreds of players the opportunity to play each weekend is something very special. The club hope to do the league proud next season.

Alex Ladd, joint manager of the ladies, is excited by the challenge ahead. “As a team we cannot wait to make the step up,” said Ladd. “It is going to be a big step and one that will challenge us as individuals and more importantly as a squad.

“We will continue to work hard and enjoy our football against some established Sussex and Kent teams. Congratulations, also, to Saltdean for their promotion with us.”

Joint manager Andy Cook echoed Ladd’s thoughts, adding: “We are absolutely delighted with confirmation of our promotion to the SECWFL Premier Division.

“It is reward and recognition for the outstanding achievements of the players from last season where we won everything we could at our level. Next season in the Premier Division now becomes a whole new challenge for everyone at the club and we are really looking forward to it.

“We are under no illusions it will be a lot tougher than last season and it will be a stern test, however, we are all up for it and the players are certainly raring to go already and we haven’t even started pre-season.”

And the Dockers’ treble winning captain, Ellie Coade, heaped praise on her team mates. “I honestly cannot believe that in our first season together that we won all three titles and are getting promoted into the South East Counties Women’s Premier Division,” said Coade. “I am so proud of all the ladies and what they have achieved and we really couldn’t of done it without Andy and Alex, so thank you.

“We are really looking forward to the challenge this season and have already started the preparation in the hopes of winning another title in the 2018/19 season, and with Andy and Alex pushing and supporting us, and with their fantastic training, I am sure it can happen.

“It is fantastic to see our rivals Saltdean join us up in the Premier Division as they had a great season and we look forward to their challenging matches again.

“The ladies really truly deserve this step up with the quality of football they played this season, we should be up there in the Premier. I am really looking forward to seeing how we rise to the challenges thrown at us in the upcoming season and am 100% confident we will take every game in our stride and be right up there with all the other teams… bring it on!”

The SECWFL Premier Division will be made up of the following teams: Ashford, Bexhill United, Crawley Wasps, Eastbourne, Lewes, Meridian, Newhaven, Phoenix Sports, Saltdean United, Worthing.

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