AFTER a tough season with a skeleton squad, Oswestry Boys and Girls Football Club under-16s girls team had something to celebrate in their final season together.

Dean Aldwinckle’s side ran out as Shropshire Girls and Women's Football League Cup winners after spending parts of the season with fewer than 11 players.

In October 2018, the Advertizer reported that the club was on the brink of folding as they were struggling to field enough players to play matches.

Dean appealed for players and managed to gain more interest from girls in the area, allowing them to complete their fixture list and finish with some silverware.

He said: “We did continue to struggle for players as the season went on.

“We were able to claw together enough players, just about, to see out the season.

“It was a case of limping from game to game with a skeleton squad as players have been injured.

“We didn’t quite win the league, but we pushed on in the cup competition to eventually reach the final.

“It’s our league’s equivalent to the Football League’s League Cup – we met Shifnal in the final and managed to take a squad of 12 players on the day, with a few players working hard to come back from injury.

“It was a great day and to go on and win really did make all the struggles of the season worthwhile.”

The final was played on May 4 at Market Drayton, where the Oswestry side overcame opponents Shifnal to win 2-0.

Faye Marshall and Bethan Jones grabbed the goals which proved to be the difference.

As well as the cup win, the girls achieved a mid-table finish, which Dean was also very proud of considering the circumstances.

“[The cup win] made for a great end to the season.

“It really gave us something to celebrate after what has been a very tricky season.

“We played six of our 16 games with fewer than 11 players in our matchday squad and achieved a mid-table finish, which is also a great testament to the girls.

“I would like to say a big thanks to the hard work of all the girls involved, but also to the parents and the Advertizer, who all helped us to pool together enough players to see out the season.”

The girls will now go their separate ways after playing their final season in junior football together, with some of them now setting their sights on finding a path into adults’ football.

Dean said: “It was such a fitting ending to our time together as a club.

“It gave us a good way to send our girls off into adult football.

“Everyone involved with the club wishes them all the very best as they continue their careers in the game.”