One Year Of Smith

May 20th marks the day Aaron Smith was unveiled as the new manager of Southampton Women's FC.

This time last year most of the footballing world was just settling into the close season.

While they all chilled, Southampton Women's FC got the wheels in motion by confirming the appointment of Aaron Smith.

He came in off the back of an excellent season managing Chichester City.

Having just finished third in the FA Women's National League Southern Premier Division Smith decided it was time to start a new chapter.

Smith was returning to the club who gave him his first start in the women's game.

The manager set his sights high from the get-go knowing the difficult task that lay before him in Division One South West.

In doing so he secured some big signings to bolster the squad which included Erin Bloomfield, Lauren Cheshire, Lauren Clark and Rose Kite, to name just a few.

With a few teams in the league ready to launch a title challenge, it was no surprise to see the battle at the top of the table was tight.

When Southampton Women's clashed with Southampton FC (Saints) a crowd of over 500 witnessed the two sides cancel each other out in goalless stalemate.

Elsewhere in the league, the battle continued throughout the campaign between the two Southampton's - both with significantly contrasting operations.

When the season was abandoned Smith's side were just two points off of top spot with their local rivals still to play.

The other success on the pitch was the run to the Fourth Round of the Women's FA Cup.

Five wins including two against sides from the tier above saw the team record their best run in the competition in the club's modern day history.

Additionally, for Smith he was keen to reward player's who performed well in training and for the Reserves and Development Squad.

Jennifer King, and Mireia Perez Sanchez all received call-ups to the Firsts.

Kayleigh Tonks' hardwork was rewarded when the team hosted Portishead Town as the attacker was formally presented with the number 16 shirt in the First Team.

The team has shown it has strengthed under the leadership of Smith and it is exciting to see what the next year will bring - once we can play football safely again.

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