Brighton & Hove Albion’s elite women and girls football manager Tracy Doe has spoken of her pride in the girls academy following their Hampshire County Cup success, after prevailing in a 2-1 victory over cup-favourites Itchen College to lift the prestigious trophy.
Goals from Hayley Bridge and Caroline Hodgson ensured Albion's academy girls, who are in partnership with Worthing College, clinched another piece of silverware and left Doe delighted with the performance.
Doe told seagulls.co.uk, “The girls worked their absolute socks off, they followed instructions and they delivered a fantastic performance.
“To come out as winners over Itchen College, whose programme has been running for quite a while now and have a number of top quality players in their side already, the girls should be extremely proud of what they’ve done.
“Itchen have won it quite a few times and to strengthen the competition, it was decided by all the colleges in Sussex to invite the Brighton girls into the competition. Itchen were still outright favourites to win it but we overturned the favourites in the competition. It’s all credit to the staff and the players.
“It’s always good to get recognition for the girls and the staff’s hard work over the first season. The first season is all about moving together in the partnership, to improve and to encourage better players to come to the club. For us, winning silverware is a great indication of where we want to go as a club.”
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The elite women’s manager then turned her attention to the profound affect women manager and academy head coach James Marrs has had on the overall set-up.
“It’s exciting for James and myself. We sit there sometimes discussing the potential that we have coming through at the club at the younger age groups and it’s almost scary to think the potential that we have. We have England under-15s and under-16s players that haven’t even reached the academy or the senior set-up yet so the future looks extremely bright for us.
“We’re keen on making sure there’s continuity right across the board with all our sides so the discipline, hard work and endeavour that the girls will show, whether they’re first-team, development squad, academy or centre of excellence, it’s similar in the way we expect all of our players at Brighton to perform.
“It’s great to see that the future bodes so well for the girls’ set-up.”