Staff and players from Southampton FC Women held a virtual presentation evening on Wednesday night following the premature end of their 2019/20 campaign.
Players’ Player of the Year and Southampton Way accolades were awarded to members from both senior squads, with teenage sensation Ella Morris scooping top prize.
The young full-back was recognised by her peers as the standout performer from the first-team, while forward Rachel Panting won the Southampton Way award for an outstanding debut season with the club - identified as someone who has contributed greatly on and off the pitch.
Centre-back Jess Tanner won the development side’s equivalent of players’ player, following her return to action from a gruelling ACL injury, while Regional Talent Club (RTC) graduate Kitty Cleeve received the Southampton Way award.
Head Coach Marieanne Spacey-Cale MBE and a host of women's team coaches and support staff were joined by Managing Director Toby Steele and Director of Football Matt Crocker, who both paid tribute to the success of the women's programme - which will enter its third official season when football resumes.
“It’s been another enjoyable campaign,” said Steele, addressing players and staff via video call. “There’s been exciting and entertaining football and it was disappointing to see it cut short.
“To be promoted and go half a season unbeaten is quite a feat, which pays testament to the team work, unity and quality of football on show.
“The women’s programme is still in its infancy in many ways, but everyone involved has really integrated themselves into our Southampton community.”
Crocker was keen to look ahead to an exciting future for the women’s programme, stating: “We are building a strong infrastructure here which can hopefully take us into the Women’s Super League one day.
“Seeing the girls in and around the training ground, they bring energy and excitement that I would like to bottle and make sure it runs through the whole club at every level.”
Spacey-Cale closed proceedings by reiterating her pride in the side after a tough, but nevertheless productive season.
“This club is all about the people and the values they hold and we’re really proud to represent Southampton.
“Thank you to the board who give us the opportunity to grow and challenge ourselves. The commitment of the players, who are a credit to themselves and their families.
“Finally, we want to take the disappointment of this season finishing early and turn it into success next year, with the same effort, the same drive; ready to take women’s football by storm.”