July 18, 2024
AFC Wimbledon Women is going to Tier 3

AFC Wimbledon Women is going to Tier 3

AFC Wimbledon Women is going to Tier 3. What does it take to win women’s tier 4? AFC Wimbledon Women spent 8 seasons making it happen after their promotion from tier 5 in 2016.

AFC Wimbledon Women is going to Tier 3

Several near misses would’ve been tougher to fictionalise, including missing out during a Covid-ravaged season when they were arguably the form team in the division. The past two seasons saw them finish 3rd and then 2nd to some huge points totals and well-funded clubs, determined to keep building on what they had, both on & off the pitch.

AFC Wimbledon Women is going to Tier 3
AFC Wimbledon Women is going to Tier 3

The team’s strength is a fantastic group spirit, supported by a club and fan base with a mission matched by few, if any, other clubs. Manager Kevin Foster and captain Hannah Billingham undoubtedly played a huge part in ensuring a strong group ethic and spirit, where you can feel genuine friendships run throughout the group, matched by a determination to push the club to new heights.

Another huge factor was an incredible hunger to go again despite some brutal near-misses on promotion: in 2018 narrowly losing out to Milton Keynes, then in 2021 seeing a strong finish to the season count for nothing due to Covid curtailment. Most recently in 2022-23, 57 points in a 22-game season wasn’t enough to get promoted. It required a huge faith and determination to go again.

On the playing side, of course, it’s tempting to mention so many players, but a standout player without a doubt has been striker Ashley Hincks, giving the team an X factor, with well over 100 goals in three seasons, of all varieties and from every perceivable area of the pitch.

AFC Wimbledon Women is going to Tier 3
AFC Wimbledon Women is going to Tier 3

On the coaching side, Kevin Foster has developed as strong a bond amongst his staff as he has through the squad. The manager, coaches, physio, kitman and analyst are all aligned and share the same vision for the team. The coaching team work well, with good communication and respect linking the outfield coaches with the goalkeeper coaches, and analyst. Foster, who has a strong coaching background himself, trusts his staff to deliver on their roles, requiring a bravery to delegate which provides belief to the coaching team.

Given the reality of everyone involved having to juggle full-time jobs with upwards of 20-30 hours of commitment per week (with two training sessions, matches which include long away trips, plus preparation and communication in between), having sheer numbers of staff allows space for staff to take occasional time out during the season without impacting too much on the in-season preparation.