Hastings United Women enjoy one promotion - and eye up another

Hastings United’s women’s team have been given the prize their male counterparts have been denied – a promotion place.

Hastings United Women at their awards night / Picture: Joe Knight
Hastings United Women at their awards night / Picture: Joe Knight

The team have been confirmed as members of London & South East Women’s League division one south for 2021-22 after their Sussex premier division title triumph.

It comes as two key players – skipper Rebecca Relf and top scorer Molly Hill – commit to the club ahead of the move up to step six.

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All the good news made the team’s first awards night a real celebration – and there’s already talk of going for a second straight promotion next season.

The women’s team have been playing for only a year – half the length of time the men’s first team have been dominating the Isthmian south east division only to be denied promotion by unfinished seasons.

United chairman and CEO Billy Wood said the women’s promotion was massive for the club.

“This season has been one to remember,” he said. “I don’t think we will ever forget the impact Covid-19 has had on us all but look at the passion, pride, and perseverance these players have shown this year to keep to the task, completing their first season as a team and delivering the league championship.

“A massive well done goes to all the players who picked up awards, but it was lovely to be able to give all the girls a league winner’s medal as this season has truly been a team effort so congratulations to every one of them.

“They are already back in for pre-season and I know how determined this squad are to look upwards and see if promotion can be had again in year two.”

Top scorer Hill took home three awards – the golden boot and the gongs for directors’ player of the year and supporters’ player.

Manager’s player was Relf, players’ player Sophie Reed, young player Izzy Payne, goal of the season winner Georgia Tibble and most valuable player Beth Williams.

Meanwhile midfield maestro Relf has signed for another year along with Hill.

Relf: “It has been an absolute joy to be a part of this squad from the outset and an even bigger privilege to be the first captain of the women’s squad.”

Hill said: “It’s a no brainer for me to stay and be part of a growing club. I have fallen in love with my football again.”