TWO young women from Leek are making a significant contribution to the on-going success story of Stoke Ladies football team.
They are ever-present defenders Megan Bowyer, 25, and Cassie Hyde, 29, who will both be lining up to face Championside side Aston Villa in the fourth round of the Women’s FA Cup this Sunday.
The two teams met in a pre-season friendly at Stoke City’s Clayton Wood training complex, which Villa won 3-0.
Stoke team captain Megan will be striving to lead her team further along the Wembley train and a fifth round tie at home Loughborough Foxes or Sheffield United.
It is only the second time in Stoke’s history the team has reached this stage of the competition.
Stoke Ladies were formed in 2001, on the cusp of a revolution in women’s football, which has taken the game to new heights across the globe.
The Potters marked their first season in the West Midlands League First Division with a third-place finish, which earned them a place in the play-offs and ultimately promotion to the Premier Division.
Season 2008-2009 saw the Stoke Ladies gain promotion to the West Midland Combination and in 2012-13 complete the treble with promotion to the Premier League and winners of the League Cup and the County Cup.
Stoke Ladies first team are currently fourth in the National League North table and are backed up by a reserve team – also playing at national league level – and a newly-formed Development XI, which plays in the West Midlands League First Division and includes Leek Town Ladies amongst the opposition.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s game at Community Drive, Smallthorne (2pm), Stoke head coach said: “To be up against a side from a league above sets to challenge and strive as opposed to be overly daunting. It will be a fantastic occasion, no doubt.”
Stoke City season card holders will be admitted to the game free.