Belles return for pre-season training

Zoey Shaw is looking to strengthen her squad as the Belles head into the 2019/20 campaign.

The Belles returned for pre-season training on Tuesday night, and were joined by trialists as Shaw looks to build a squad capable of winning promotion back to the National League Northern Premier division.

She said: “We’ve got our current players and some possible new girls coming in over the next couple of weeks to have a look at.

“It’s about getting them lots of ballwork, building relationships with new people and identifying where we can strengthen the squad.”

Shaw is looking forward to a more structured pre-season as she finalises her backroom operation under Club Doncaster, in contrast to the summer of 2018 when off-the-field issues led to demotion from WSL 2.

She added: “We only had three weeks to put things together last summer, so this year we’ve got a real chance to put a structure in place.

“We have a really strong plan in terms of the style we want to play and the formation we plan to use, and after these first two weeks we will start to really nail down with more intensive sessions.”

Belles to hold open trials

The Belles invite potential players to open trial sessions to be held at the Club Doncaster Sports Village.

The four sessions will take place on the pitches beside the Keepmoat Stadium at the following times:

June 25: 7-9.30pm
June 27: 7-9.30pm
July 2: 7.30-9.30pm
July 4: 7.30-9.30pm

Interested players should contact Belles manager Zoey Shaw on littlelearnerssc@gmail.com.

Trials will take place on a 3G artificial surface so interested players should bring suitable footwear, plus training kit and shin pads.

On the night report to the Club Doncaster Academy reception, which is in the North Stand of the Keepmoat Stadium, and ask for Zoey.

Doncaster Rovers Belles LFC to join Club Doncaster

Doncaster Rovers Belles will join the Club Doncaster family in May 2019. The team brings 50 years of history with them and are historically one of the most successful ladies teams in the country.

Formed in 1969 by a group of Doncaster Rovers supporters, the Belles went on to dominate women’s football in the late 1980s and early 90s reaching the FA Women’s Cup final an incredible 11 times in 12 years. The Belles reached the final a further two times in 2000 and 2002, making them one of the most successful sides in the competition.

Club Doncaster are looking forward to celebrating 50 years of Doncaster Rovers Belles later in the year.

Belles chair Faye Lygo said: “I have really enjoyed being a custodian of this fantastic team over the past few years, but feel, for the Belles to progress, we need to make this change.  

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Doncaster Rovers Belles and a move that will help secure the future of the club for years to come.  We look forward to seeing the progression the Belles will make as part of Club Doncaster.”

Club Doncaster chief executive Gavin Baldwin said: “We are delighted to have the Belles on board. They are one of the most successful women’s football teams in England and are an excellent addition to the Club Doncaster family.

“We are looking forward to celebrating their golden anniversary and already have some exciting plans once they join the family in May. We will be sharing more in the near future. “

As part of the merger, Club Doncaster have a new vacancy for Doncaster Rovers Belles’ chief executive, to find out more about the role and to apply, click here.

Shaw wins FA WNL Manager of the Month

Belles head coach Zoey Shaw has been awarded the FA Women’s National League Premier Division Manager of the Month for February 2019.

Shaw’s side performed impressively throughout the month, securing three well-earned back-to-back draws against opponents higher up the table at a vital time of the season, showing the crucial improvements the Belles side has made over the course of the season.

Perhaps most impressive was the 2-2 draw against high-flying Huddersfield, a game that the Belles led 2-0 at one point.

Shaw said: “You know, for me this personally means a lot, but this is a club with ambition!

“We have determination and a belief to develop young players and progress as a team.

“I couldn’t do any of this without this:”

We do not have a message for our MPs

We at Doncaster Rovers Belles were going to write something about Brexit here like Boreham Wood FC apparently decided it was a good idea to do, but then we remembered that we’re a football club, not a Medium blog.

Here’s our fixtures instead. If you want to come and take a break from all the tedious politics and backbiting and nastiness, and instead would rather spend a few hours watching a fun game of football at a friendly club with a genuine community around it, we would be delighted to see you down at one of our games at Rossington Main any time.*

(n.b. When  we say “any time”, we mean “when there’s a game on”. Don’t just turn up and expect us to play on demand. That’s why we gave you the fixture list.)

We sell tea and pies and pints, and we have a young squad who try their guts out every game.

Tickets are just £3 for adults and £1 for concessions (children and pensioners). See you there.

 

Belles to play home games at Rossington

Doncaster Rovers Belles are pleased to confirm that we will be playing our home games at Rossington Main for the 2018/19 season.

Our first game at Rossington will be played this Sunday (19th August) at 2pm as the Belles take on reigning FA WNL Northern champions Blackburn Rovers. Tickets are £3 for adults and £1 for children, and can be purchased on the gate.

Belles General Manager Sheila Edmunds said: “This is a new chapter in the proud history of the Belles as we enter our 50th year.

“We are really pleased that Rossington Main and their chairman, Carl Stokes, have agreed to support us with the use of their facilities.

“The change of venue to Rossington is more suitable and appropriate for our young, developing squad of players, and represents an opportunity for us at the Belles to reach out to the community of Doncaster.”

We would also like to reassure fans that we will continue our relationship with Doncaster Rovers and Club Doncaster – our statement on that can be found here.

 

Shaw eager to get started

Belles head coach Zoey Shaw is itching to get the new the new season underway as her side take on Blackburn Rovers in the first game of the campaign.

Blackburn romped to the title by ten clear points last season to successfully defend their FA WNL Northern trophy, and Shaw admits her side face a battle in Sunday’s season opener.

She said: “I don’t think the first game could have got any tougher, if I’m honest, but we’ve got to play them at some time.

“We’ll play them and we’ll learn and they will learn off us. We’ll have things to counteract some of the things they’ve got, so bring it on I say.

“Our preparation is going really well. The girls are fully in training now, and over the summer the levels of fitness and the physicality have shot up.

“It’s just about mastering the game because we’ve got a lot of youth in the squad at the moment, so we’re just making the most of our sessions and grabbing every little bit we can. The players have come in for extra sessions and we’re just eager for it to start to be honest.”

Despite being new to the role Shaw is very familiar with much of the current squad, having managed many of them in the development team before making the step up to the first team alongside them for the new campaign.

She said: “It’s no secret when you play us that we’ve got quite a young squad but I think we’ve got a very exciting squad.

“We may not have the depth in age, but what these girls are going to learn this season – not just from us as coaches and a club, but playing in this kind of environment and this league – will be massive for their development.

“If we can progress these girls as much as we can for next season, when we can really really start to establish ourselves, then I think we stand ourselves in good stead.

“I think the excitement for them and the task ahead they’ve got, they’re really really relishing. Individually they’re really up for it, they’re up for every training session, and for some of these girls stepping up from the RTC at 16 or 17 it’s a big step, but they’ve embraced it.

“Whatever we learn this season – as a team, as a club, or individually as players – it’s massive for us.”

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Our 2018/19 season opener against Blackburn Rovers will be played at Rossington Main on Sunday 19th August, 2pm KO.

Tickets will be £3 for adults and £1 for children and can be purchased on the gate.

The ground can be found at Oxford St, Rossington, DN11 0TE. Details on parking at the ground can be found here.

2018/19 squad announcement

Head Coach Zoey Shaw has unveiled the Doncaster Rovers Belles first team squad for the 2018/19 season.

The new-look squad will be led by new captain Izzy Whittle, while Olivia Cook will serve as Whittle’s deputy.

Shaw said: “We have a long history of giving chances to young players and we’re proud to continue that as we go into our 50th year celebrations.

“All the staff and squad are really excited the start the new season. It doesn’t get much tougher than going up against Blackburn for our opening game, but we’ll get an instant indication of where the bar has been set in this division.”

Playing squad

Captain: Izzy Whittle
Vice-captain: Olivia Cook
Sheldon Ashton
Emily Batty
Zoe Belding
Chloe Bethell
Emily Burgin
Emily Cahill
Holly Dodsworth
Ashleigh Edwards
Chloe Gray
Aimee Hickingbotham
Nadia Khan
Georgia Marshall
Ellie Parkin
Lois Scholefield
Kirsty Smith
Imani Todman
Isabella Travillion
Abby Watkinson
Issy Williams

Staff

Zoey Shaw
Sally Needham
Amy Buxton
Julie Chipchase
Luke Gray

Belles launch new website

As you may have noticed, we have had a bit of a refresh here at doncasterroversbelles.co.uk!

Our makeover is faster, easier to navigate and more mobile-friendly than the old site, and we’re excited to start the new season and our 50th year with something fresh.

We’ve also updated our squad section and will be adding new sections throughout the season to make this the true home for everything Donny Belles!

Club Statement

The club can announce that for the 2018/2019 season we will be competing in the Women’s National League
The club can announce that for the 2018/2019 season we will be competing in the Women’s National League. We can confirm we have withdrawn from the Women’s Championship and await FA ratification of the move in their Special General Meeting (date to be confirmed). We have worked closely with the FA and have mutually agreed the change in leagues which will ensure the continued viability and re-growth of the club.

Our 50th year is upon us and the recent changes have allowed us to reflect and refocus. Our philosophy has always been centred on creating opportunities for women and girls in football. We are proud of our legacy which has pioneered the women’s game. Our coaching structure focuses on individual development and has seen players hit personal achievements, move on to high profile clubs and created opportunities with national teams. Our unique female mentoring scheme for coaches and managers has seen tremendous talent enter the game and again move onto exciting opportunities within the sport including with the England Lionesses.This remains our philosophy and we are excited to see a wealth of young developing players have a great opportunity to hit their full potential under a fantastic coaching team.More details will follow on our decision.

We look forward to celebrating our 50th Birthday with you all #backthebelles and welcome your input and support.