Belles revert to red and white

Belles’ president Sheila Edmunds has said the upcoming 2019/20 season is reminiscent of the early years of Doncaster Belles despite being unfamiliar territory for a team who have competed in the top tiers for most of their 50-year history.

“The league is a bit of an unknown territory at this present time, but historically we started life in the Sheffield league,” Sheila said.

“There weren’t enough teams for that league to continue so we ended up in the Nottingham league. We travelled all around the Nottingham and Derby areas so we’re familiar with that – so it’s a little bit like going back in time.”

A second change that will echo the club returning to its roots is the club colours which will revert to the red and white that the Belles first wore when they formed in 1969.

“When we started in 1969 and we were at Belle Vue, our first kit was white shirt, red socks, red shorts – so in many ways there is that acknowledgement there and it’s great that we’re working with Club Doncaster on that,” Sheila added.

“My passion has always been the yellow and blue because there’s history behind that but as long as we have both colours in our home and away kit then I’m happy with that.”

Belles chief executive Russ Green added: “Women’s teams are joining with men’s teams more and more, you see it with Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal – so we feel, with the Belles joining Club Doncaster, we should wear the club colours and be proud of it while still recognising the heritage of the Belles.

“The blue and yellow will be predominant in our training kit, away kit and we’ll never forget that because that’s the history of the club. There is a detail on the new kit which remembers the past colours and the 50 years – that was agreed with Shelia. The supporters will be able to see that at the launch night. The detail is a nice touch and will always be there.”

Shaw excited for new beginning within Club Doncaster

Belles manager Zoey Shaw says the club’s transition into Club Doncaster is the start of a new beginning for her side.

The most historic side in women’s football joined the Club Doncaster family in May this year, a year which coincides with the Belles 50th anniversary, and Shaw feels this is an exciting time for everyone connected with the club.

“It’s a really exciting time for us as a club, as well as for the women’s game in general, to become a part of Club Doncaster alongside Rovers, as one club united, it’s so exciting, we’re going to go out and embrace it,” she said.

“We’re going to look to take as much from them out of it as I hope they do from us, we’re looking forward to collaborating ideas, and then by doing that I feel it can really take the Belles forward.

“We’re in a much better place now, it’s a new challenge in a new league for us, we don’t know what to expect from the teams we come up against because we haven’t played any of them before, so we know we have to do a lot of work behind the scenes.”

The Belles begin life within the Club Doncaster family by playing in the Women’s National League Division One Midlands for the first time ever in their history, and for Shaw, there is only one aim for her side come April.

“We won’t beat around the bush, our ultimate goal at the end of this season is to earn promotion out of this league, Doncaster Rovers Belles deserves better, so do the players that have stayed around, I have a lot of belief in my squad to get the job done,” she added.

“We looked to retain a lot of players from last season, that was a must for us after all the development that went on last year, keeping the young ones is so valuable to us, now we’re looking to add in experienced heads, strength and depth and I feel we’ve done just that.

“This season we have a real plan in place with a proper pre-season, we’ve got the trials out the way, we’ve recruited well, I’m currently going through working towards my A License, so we’re already a massive step ahead of where we were this time last year.”

Belles host launch night at the Keepmoat Stadium

The Belles will host a launch night at the Keepmoat Stadium on Wednesday July 17 as they officially join the Club Doncaster family ahead of the 2019/20 season.

The launch night will start at 6.30pm and will take place in the Belle Vue Bar. It will bring together Belles staff, Club Doncaster staff, current Belles players and former Belles players in an event which celebrates the past while looking to a bright and exciting future.

The evening will give supporters a chance to meet new chief executive Russ Green as well as Club Doncaster chief executive Gavin Baldwin and they will also have chance to hear from manager Zoey Shaw.  Staff from across Club Doncaster will be in attendance with all departments represented.

As part of the launch, the Belles will be unveiling the new home and away kits for the forthcoming season as well as launching season tickets. Belles and Club Doncaster will also layout the plans being put in place to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of England’s most successful women’s football teams.

The evening will offer supporters an opportunity to ask questions either from the floor or in advance by emailing media@clubdoncaster.co.uk.

Attendance is complimentary but anyone attending must have a ticket. Tickets can be collected from the Club Doncaster Box Office in person or online by clicking here.

Belles appoint chief executive

Russ Green has been appointed chief executive of Doncaster Rovers Belles, the first time the position has been created at the most iconic club in women’s football.

Russ, who has previously been in charge of Hartlepool United and Rochdale, will oversee the transition into the Club Doncaster group this summer.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted and honoured to be given this role, everyone knows the name of the Belles and it’s clear from everyone I’ve already met that there is a real determination to bring great days to the club again.

“With England doing so well in the World Cup there is a real buzz about women’s football at the moment, it feels like a great time to build on interest in the Belles and inspiring local girls who have seen their heroes on TV and now dream of following in their footsteps.

“There is a tremendous heritage for us here to build on, and from speaking to people like Sheila Edmunds and manager Zoey Shaw, as well as their staff and players, it’s clear that there is a real excitement about what the future holds with a focus on what the club is all about – developing young players and inspiring future generations.”

Club Doncaster chief executive Gavin Baldwin feels Russ can play a significant role in the Belles climbing back up the leagues.

He said: “I’ve known Russ for many years, he is a man of integrity who can bring his decades of experience in football to the club.

“We could not have found a better person to lead the club off the pitch, I know the coaching staff have already taken to him and I’m sure the players and fans will too. He will leave no stone unturned in his aim to get the Belles back to where they should be on the pitch, and in fact we can already point to ideas he has brought to the table which should really help the club develop.”

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.