Greater London Women's Football League have a new team in their competition!
Hendon Women have begun their first league campaign in Division 2 North, the seventh tier of women's football and the third tier of women's football in Greater London.
Hendon Men are a semi-professional team competing in the Southern League Premier Division South, the seventh tier of the English football league system.
The formation of a brand new team as a part of their club means the women's side must start at the bottom and work their way up the football pyramid.
The women's first team was formed by two students studying coaching degrees at UCFB, Ava, Hendon's coach, and Shelley, Hendon's manager.
Hendon Women's first two league matches went successfully. Their first ever game as a team saw five goals scored, including a hat-trick by striker Matilda Mangwendeza, who was of course voted player's player in Hendon's first ever game.
Although the match ended with a loss by one-goal, with the final score being 5-6 to Tower Hamlets, Hendon should be proud of their performance. Scoring five goals in their first ever match as a team was a huge achievement, even though they didn't manage to come away from it with any points.
Their first points of the season came in their second league match due to Enfield Town forfeiting, resulting in a home walkover and three points for Hendon.
Hendon's first away game of the season saw them travel to Watford to play Edgware & Kingsbury.
Both sides were goalless at half time, but Hendon's brand new team struggled to keep up with their opponent's pace during the second half, conceding six goals.
Although losing 6-0, Hendon had a lot of positives to take from their first away fixture, especially considering they were missing some of their key players. New goalkeeper Nicole Hayes was voted as player's player of the match on her debut for some outstanding saves.
With Hendon almost having a full squad available for their next match against London Football School, progress needs to be made defensively, with the aim to concede less goals than they have done previously.
Hendon Women's Manager, Shelley, formed Hendon's women's side after "the owner suggested setting up a women's team two years ago". However, there were struggles to get the new team up and running, as "for a year, no plans came into action".
"In July of 2023, the owner approached us once again and we decided to see what we could do with the team! We started training sessions and had about half a dozen players turn up each week. We had to put a pause on the training sessions over the summer, but at the end of August, we restarted the training sessions and started getting around a dozen players, and now we're getting about 20 players at training each week!"
With a brand new team, it can be difficult to find a group of players who get along and work well together, but "the team got off to such a great start, and the girls have such a laugh together! The girls even have an optional extra fitness session running each week that many take the opportunity to be a part of, and that was completely set up by the players themselves!"
"This season we're hoping to get more women playing football. We hope to get enough players for a competitive first and second team next year to get even more players playing."
The environment created by Hendon's coach and manager is one where "the girls feel comfortable to be themselves and to have friends both on and off the pitch!"