We Kick – Bitton Ladies FC

The Gloucestershire-based team were only formed for the 2007-8 season but have won one title already and are on course for a second this term.

How did the club and particularly your team get started?
Bitton Ladies began at the start of the 2007/8 season, Steve Jones and wife to be Becky Jones (nee Langdon – daughter of the Bitton FC Chairman) forming the team after Becky decided she wanted to play footy. A mix of local girls wanting to keep fit and some younger girls looking for their first club in senior football signed up. They joined the Gloucestershire League Division 2 which they were to win 2 years later.

Tell us some of your top nicknames and why players have them and why some maybe don’t?
Sam Morgan – The Hawk – She knows everything
Meg Price – The G – She thinks she is a bit of a Gangster
Becky Jones – One pace – She only has one speed (slow)
Meg Bloomer – Teacher’s pet – Always training, has a great attitude and is top scorer this season

Do you have a fairly settled team?
This season has seen a big turnaround in players as new manager Paul Passaway tries to put his own stamp on the team. Things have settled down recently and the team is getting stronger every week, with Megan Bloomer leading in the goalscoring stakes.

How did the 2011/12 season go for you, what do you expect from 2012/13 and who are your biggest rivals?
Disappointing end to last season when we really should have won the league. We dropped points in silly games and despite beating the two teams above us convincingly, we finished third. We are aiming for promotion this year and to win the league cup. As usual, AEK Boco are our local rivals and are also expected to be challenging. However, Cheltenham Civil Service will be the team to beat.

Tell us a top fact about your team:
Amber Coates took under 4 minutes of the recent game against league leaders AEK-Boco to notch an incredible hat-trick on the way to an 8-3 victory that left them only 2 points behind but with 2 games in hand.

Who is your captain and tell us a bit about her?
Team founder Becky Jones was appointed captain this season following a break to have a child a few season ago. She has a superb attitude and is a bit of a pass master, who ls known to pop up with the odd goal. Don’t ask her to sprint, head or tackle though. She doesn’t like to get mud on her forehead, as that would spoil her looks. Quite a few people nearly fainted when she actually scored a header this season and her hubby, who missed the game, to this day does not believe the fact that she scored with her head!

What about your coach/manager – are they serious, funny, good/bad and why?
Paul Passaway has come in this season and tried a more professional approach to training. He is keen for the players to enjoy their football but is a born winner and has his sight set firmly on the title. He previously managed Stoke Lane Ladies and Gloucester City and helped form the Gloucestershire County Girls League in 2000. There he was League Secretary before serving as Chairman for 5 years and taking it from 20 teams to over 80. He also ran the Gloucestershire U-18 team for 3 years and helped them win the Inter County Cup, beating Devon in the final.

Tell us a funny moment the team shared:
One of the funniest moments this season is an incident during our game against Wooton Bassett Town at their ground. The game was near the end and it was a tight affair, so we were rushing to try and score. Leanne Ware went to take a short, quick corner but her kicking leg went the wrong side of the flag and she kicked it onto the pitch before connecting with the ball and falling over!

Who is the team’s jock (the fittest) and who is the joker?
Amber Coates and Donna Bojcuk are the fittest in the side, they are always out training and Donna’s partner is a long-distance runner. Chloe Gallagher is just naturally fit and despite being known to have a fag and a burger at half time, always produces the goods. Keeper ‘Gally’ has a very loud voice and has a habit of saying things as she sees them. In a nice conversation with an assistant referee after one game, the official said ‘I hope you get on well in the next round’, Gally responding ‘We will as long as your not the assistant, you were ****. He did see the funny side but she meant it!

Does the team have an unsung hero?
We don’t have heroes but must mention Donna, who was included in the side to play a cup tie against a team two leagues above. She said she was not good enough to play and asked to be left out bit turned up and played as they only had 11 players available. She ran her socks off up front and we won on penalties, despite Cheltenham Town having 16 players and the benefit of the silly roll-on roll-off rule.

Who is always first to the bar/on the dancefloor on a team/club night out?
First to the bar would Paul Passaway, first on the dancefloor would be Amber Coates. She’s one of our strikers but is a little mad – she turned up training in the rain last week in a tiger onesie. 

Pictured (from top) – Meg Bloomer, Becky Jones (HJI Imanes), Chloe Gallagher.

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