Manager Gemma Donnelly gives her thoughts on what has been a highly successful 2018/19 for her Rovers Ladies team.
Rovers’ application to play in the FA Women’s Championship was accepted, meaning they will play in the division for the first time next season.
It’s a well deserved reward for a season that has brought a clean sweep of four trophies, as well as individual accolades in the form of FA WNL Manager of the Year and FA WNL Top Goalscorer (Saffron Jordan).
Donnelly said: “I must take this opportunity to thank everybody involved at the club for their very generous support to help make it yet another successful season at Blackburn Rovers Ladies.
“Including our volunteers, who play important roles in both football administration and matchday promotion. And to all the staff that work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the season encounters minimal problems.
“Thank you to our sponsors – Watson Ramsbottom Solicitors, Mark Walsh Estates and Accrington and Rossendale College. And of course to the coaches. Without you, this season would not have been possible.”
The Blues have earned their place in the second tier having lifted the Northern Premier Division title for the third straight season, as well as retaining the League Cup and the County Cup, before winning the Championship play off match.
“To have a season like this one, having lost just one league game, clocking up 23 victories out of a possible 24, is just unreal.
“Even the game against Sunderland, our only defeat in the league, was uncharacteristic given that we had beaten them twice already. Which I think shows just how good and consistent we have been all season.
“I must thank the most important people, the players, who have worked tirelessly again and deserve every award they have won. I’d personally like to thank them for their loyalty and commitment to our club.
“Danielle Gibbons has been an excellent replacement for Danielle Hill, along with the new mid-season addition of Serena Fletcher from Leicester City.
“The midfield trio of Lynda Shepherd, Jess Holbrook and Natasha Fenton have been outstanding again this season.
“And the partnership that Saffron Jordan and Natasha Flint have developed is simply quite spectacular. Of course, all the other players, too many to mention, are integral to this team’s success.”
There was more success with the Development side mirroring the Ladies’ achievement by winning the league for the third season on the bounce.
They also lifted the League Cup to complete the double, helped by the goals of Ria Montgomery, who was named FA WNL Reserve Northern Division One top scorer.
“I must again congratulate the players and Ellie Cash and Tom Perris on their excellent season.
“Even though winning the Reserve League and Cup is not a target set at the start of the season, it always enables us to gage the standard of players we have coming through our youth ranks.
“They have done a fantastic job and I look forward to working with them both again next season.
“We have lots more exciting news which will follow over the next few weeks, including the launch of our season tickets, securing new partnerships, and of course our pre-season schedule.”