TorquayTalk caught up with TULFC star striker Sian Chapman to talk about the highs and lows of 2017-18 and her aims for next season
TT – TULFC have made terrific progress again this season, what were the highlights of 17-18 for you?
Sian – Despite not winning the league we have had some great moments to remember starting with our FA Cup run; first round we travelled to Eastleigh which we were all very excited about, I personally really enjoyed that game probably the best we played as a team, we won 6-1.
Our next round vs AFC Bournemouth was played at Plainmoor which was a very special moment for us girls winning 1-0. Our cup run then came to an end as we lost to Brislington on penalties, unfortunate not to beat them as we dominated large parts of the game. Also reaching the Devon Cup Final vs Plymouth Argyle was great for us.
And the lowlights?
Lowlight of the season for me has to be finishing 3rd, disappointing after the strong start we made and dominating many games, with the team at the start of the season we really wanted to push for promotion to play in the women’s Premier League for the coming season.
You scored plenty of goals, which ones were the best of the bunch and why?
15 goals for the season for me, the best was probably my goal away at Bishops Lydeard 25/30 yards out, I’d seen the keeper off her line and fancied my chances and thankfully it went in. Scoring goals in the FA Cup against Eastleigh and AFC Bournemouth also felt great too.
It’s a team game of course, but which team-mates have stood out for you this season?
Team-mates who have stood out for me and always putting in consistent performances has to be our back line, they for me have to be the best in the league. Becca (Wakley) who has picked up most MOTM awards, joined us from Yeovil last year she has instantly shown her experience and quality as a defender. She made a great partner for our captain Alex (Sheppard) who both challenged me very hard in training. Adele (Rogers) also playing at the back, for me her game vs Buckland stands out – very dominate not letting anyone past her and limiting the league winners to only two unfortunate scrappy goals.
Steph Beck has also had great games for us when she’s been free from injury, controlling midfield, her hat-trick in the game at Eastleigh was another stand out moment. Have seen some great goals this season coming from Danni Wyatt’s worldie vs Maps lobbing the keeper from far out and Smudge (Sarah Smith) with her two goals from out wide vs Ilminster.
How frustrating were the numerous postponements, and do you think it halted the team’s momentum heading into the second half of the season?
It was extremely frustrating to have as many games as we did called off, I think it’s been the worst season yet for postponements which did effect our momentum massively, and after the Christmas break we didn’t play for weeks unless an astro was available. We also had 2/3 of our key players leave the club half-way through the season, it wasn’t easy on the team but we were lucky enough to find replacements and continue on and finish as strongly as we could.
Did you meet your goals personally, and what will be your aims for 2018-19?
Due to bad weather and players leaving the club resulting in us having a different starting 11 most weekends, it was difficult for any of us to have a consistent run of games. I am happy to have scored 15 goals, hopefully next season I can add a few more.
The team just fell short of winning the league, how do you think you can improve to get your hands on that trophy next season?
Getting a permanent coach on board with the team will be key for next season, also new players so we can build a squad which will allow for injuries to happen and not leave us short on game days. I am looking forward to seeing the team grow and hopefully going on to win the league next season.
Are TULFC going to be busy during the summer?
Some exciting times to come for next season, after hearing the plans and new things to come in our team meeting last weekend. Without a doubt we need to recruit new players, a mixture of experience and young who can bring real quality to TULFC.
We are also advertising for a new coach to help push the team on and develop our ability, as well as a team physio to help us stay in peak shape after a lot of our players picked up injuries throughout our stop start season. We are also welcoming new sponsors to help with funding and to be part of our team.
The support has been growing for TULFC, why should people support the ladies for 2018-19?
The support we have has been growing massively all season through Facebook and Twitter, we are all very grateful to those who give up their Sundays to come and cheer us on – hopefully next season we will be able to win the league. We also have our amazing sponsors who have helped make playing football possible for a lot of us this season. I’d like to thank my sponsors @rjnapier @ChrisLeigh79 @WGullin you have all been amazing, so thank you so much. Looking forward to next season.