The Owlesses are currently in their first season in North East Regional Women’s Football League Premier Division after promotion during the pandemic, and they brought in Paul Musacchio – as well as a whole new technical team – over the summer in a bid to try and stay up.
Long-serving chairman, Dave Higgins, took a step back after years of being the manager, and a whole host of new players were snapped up as they sought to build a side capable of consolidating their place in the division.
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But with games being called off left, right and centre, and Musacchio leaving the club for personal reasons, Higgins stepped back up to the plate to lead them forward until the end of this campaign when the new managerial situation will be sorted.
On the plus side, the technical team members - Stewart Alexander, Konrad Gielnak and Henry Pearson – have all remained at the club, so there is a level of continuity that has remained.
And their 2022 got off to a great start in the SHCFA County Cup as they stuck six goals past Sheffield City FC to set up a bit of a glamour tie against Doncaster Belles in the next round – it was their first game since back in November, and Shannon Coughlan (daughter of former Owl, Graham) grabbed a hattrick for herself.
Channy Rymer also got a brace, with Abbie South scoring the Ladies’ other goal in the game. Two of the assists came from the long-serving Emily Higgins.
It remains to be seen how long Higgins will be leading the team as a decision is made on how to take the club forward following Musacchio’s exit, but for now the main focus is on trying to climb off the bottom of the NERWFL table.
The Owlesses have games in hand on all the other teams in the league, and are just four points away from climbing out of the relegation zone.
This Sunday they face fellow strugglers, Farsley Celtic, and will be desperate to pick up three points and take a step closer to safety.