Weekly update of what has been happening at the club…..

Gills Ladies progress in the cup

This week Gillingham Ladies were on the road again for the first round of the FA Women’s Premier League Plate against Southampton Saints LFC.  Gills Ladies Manager, Jack Wheeler made a number of changes to the starting line-up, naming nine Centre of Excellence graduates in the team. The team’s good run of form on the road continued with another win and this result took the unbeaten run to 5 games.

Gills Ladies started the first half in style attacking with intent and asking questions of the Saints defence, Katie Hardaker combined well with Emma Tune and provided a great ball that Madison North dispatched with a clever flick beyond the Saints keeper to give Gills Ladies the lead. 

Both Emma Tune and April Bowers were enjoying good possession and pressure on the home side but unfortunately Madison North and Lydia Wills were unable to convert their chances. 

Late into the first half Lydia Will’s hard work was rewarded after poaching on a short pass with a good finish to double Gills Ladies lead. Southampton responded positively and had a chance on the counter attack launching a long distance shot which was comfortably caught by Imogen Alabaster. 

With a few minutes remaining in the first half Madison North secured a brace with a sublime lob over the keeper to take Gills Ladies lead to 3-0, then just before the half time whistle Gills Ladies had a great chance to take their lead to 4-0 but Southampton managed to clear their lines.

Southampton made a great start to the second half with a fantastic strike into the top right corner to reduce Gills Ladies lead to make the scoreline 1-3.  

Shortly after conceding Gills Ladies, manager Jack Wheeler made his first change of the match bringing on Shannon Redhouse for Megan Maslak, who made a positive start enforcing the Southampton keeper into making a good save. 

Gills Ladies invited the pressure and Southampton took the opportunity and scored again with a chip going over Alabaster to reduce Gills Ladies lead to one goal (2-3). Another change was made very late on with Hollie Musmeci coming on to replace Georgia Reece.  

The team showed maturity particularly in the last 10 minutes taking control to see out the victory and ensure progression to the next round of the cup.

Gills Ladies coaching opportunity

Following a reshuffle of Gills Ladies coaching team, the club is looking for a new assistant manager. If you're ambitious, dedicated and passionate about coaching and are interested in the role, please email Charlotte Richardson crichardson@priestfield.com.

Gills Ladies match day mascot opportunity

The Kent Girls and Ladies League have joined forces with Gills Ladies to offer all affiliated clubs within the Kent Girls and Ladies League a unique opportunity to be Gills Ladies match day mascots. 

We have the pleasure of welcoming Larkfield Ladies and Petts Wood as match day mascots for the next home game against AFC Wimbledon on Sunday, October 11.

If you would like your team to have the chance to experience this fantastic opportunity, please contact Charlotte Richardson crichardson@priestfield.com.

Gills Ladies Season Tickets

Since the start of the season there has only been two home games played, a Season Ticket is still great value and are available to purchase from the club’s ticket office at Gillingham FC, as well as at home match days and online via Season Ticket.

Season Tickets enable Gills Ladies fans to access all league home games and half price tickets for cup fixtures.  Adult Season Tickets cost £25 (free entry for U16s).

Gills Ladies Next League Fixtures

The next league game for Gills Ladies is away to Bedford LFC on Sunday, October 25 (kick off 2pm) and the next home game is on Sunday, November 15 (kick off 2pm) against Old Actonians.

October Cup Fever for the Ladies

The next cup game for Gills Ladies is home to AFC Wimbledon Ladies for the third qualifying round of the SSE Womens FA Cup on Sunday, October 11 at Chatham Town FC (kick off 2pm).

Gills Ladies host Dartford Royals in the Kent FA Womens Cup at Chatham Town FC on Sunday, October 18 (kick off 2pm).

Gills Ladies travel to Bury Ladies FC for the first round of the Ryman League Cup on Wednesday 21 October (kick off 7:45pm).  The draw for the second round has taken place and should Gills Ladies progress they will host either Tottenham Hotspur LFC or Enfield Town LFC.

Tickets for all cup games are £3 for adults, £1.50 for season ticket holders and free entry for under 16s.

Girls Centre of Excellence 

The Centre welcomed MK Dons to their home ground on Saturday, October 3 and we were rewarded with some impressive squad performances. Gills Ladies Manager, Jack Wheeler and a number of Ladies were also in attendance to provide support and encouragement to all the teams. Next up we host Essex FA in our FA RESPECT game, good luck to all the teams.

U17s Goalkeeper, Katie Startup and England U17s kicked off their qualifying for the UEFA Championship with a 13-0 win over Croatia. Their second game was against hosts Estonia in their National Stadium and all Gills fans were very proud when it was announced Katie would be starting. The game again finished 13-0 and it was a well-deserved clean sheet for Katie. Their last game was a top of the table clash against Poland who had also beaten Estonia and Croatia. England lead 2-0 at half-time but conceded two late penalties which saw the clash finish 2-2. England topped the group on goal difference and have progressed to the Elite round of the qualifiers. Congratulations to the whole squad, job well done.     

When the Ladies faced Southampton Saints LFC in the first round of the FA Womens Premier League Plate we were extremely proud to see nine COE graduates named in the squad and even more so when Maddie North and Lydia Wills scored the goals. Well done girls it was a great performance.

Girls Football Week

This week we celebrate “Girls Football Week” an initiative established by the FA to encourage more education institutions to run female specific football sessions, the first week was held in 2012 predominately in Further Education and this initiative was spread to Higher Education in 2014. 

This year the programme has been extended to include primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities along with clubs and community groups who are invited to participate.  A number of activities have been arranged across the country by clubs and schools, to find out more please click here Girls Football Week.

Girls Academy

Gillingham FC were honoured to welcome Minister for Sport, Tracey Couch to MEMS Priestfield Stadium last week.  The purpose of this visit was to meet the Football Club’s Girls Academy and tell them that ‘This Girl Can’ by detailing the evolving participation in sport for women as well as the vast opportunities that are available to the girls, not only in football, but in sport and Leisure. Player Laurel Collins presented ‘Ladies at Gillingham Football Club’ and detailed all of the activities and programmes that Gillingham Football Club and the Community Trust offers women and girls in football, from our Girls Only Soccer Schools, through our Female Football Development (FFD) project and our Ladies first team.

Tracey, was stunned by the amount of activity that was on offer for girls and ladies here at the Club, then shared her own experience of growing up in a male dominated area and wanting to “kick a football, or throw a cricket ball” all the time. She also described how her dreams of wanting to be a “pilot, all be it for a micro second” were kicked to the curb, because she was female, then proceeded to say “how jealous she was of the opportunity the girls had in front of them” and inspired all involved by letting them know that “you can do anything you want to do”. Thank you for your time Tracey, you were a true inspiration to the girls.

Girls Only Soccer School

This October half-term we will again be running a FREE Girls Only Soccer School for girls of all abilities aged between 5 and 12 years of age. To find out more and to see details of all our Soccer Schools this October please click here.  

FLT Community Cups

We have again teamed up with the Football League Trust to host the local stages of the U13 Girls Cup and U11 Kids Cup. School teams from across Kent are invited to enter the competition with the winners going on to represent Gillingham FC at the Area and Regional Finals with the hope of progressing all the way to the National Final held at Wembley Stadium. To find out how to enter a team please click here.