Badshot Lea Ladies manager Jamie Norris admitted promotion wasn’t on his mind at the start of the season.
The Baggies sealed the Southern Region Women’s Football League Division One South title on Sunday with a 4-1 win at nearest challengers Stoneham Ladies.
The result sealed back-to-back promotions after the Baggies won the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League Division One title last season.
“At the start of the season I thought if we finished mid-table or a bit higher that would be a good first year,” he said.
“I made only one signing, Lucy Cook, so the girls from last year had to make the step up – and they all did.
“The fact the girls are still willing to learn and improve is ideal for me. I’m over the moon – back-to-back promotions is an amazing achievement.”
Norris likes his players to play passing football, but he feels their adaptability has been key to their success.
“We’re fortunate that we’re quite an adaptable team,” he said. “How we play depends on the playing surface.
“Stoneham have a lovely 3G and the facilities are superb, so we could get the ball down and play football. That is our preferred style.
“Some of the pitches we play on are not the best, so we have to adapt.
“We try to transition quickly on the counter-attack, but we have the flip side and can be patient with our passing. It’s all about knowing when and where to pick your moments.
“We normally play a 4-4-2, but we’ve also played 4-5-1 and 3-5-2 at times – which shows how adaptable we are.”
The Baggies will play in the Southern Region Women’s Football League Premier Division next season, and Norris is confident his side will be able to adjust to the higher level.
“There will be a step up in quality with fewer mistakes from the opposition and we will be punished more for our own mistakes,” he said.
“If we can stay true to ourselves and be hard-working we’ll usually do well.
“Hopefully I can try to keep the squad together – the togetherness they have is amazing and puts us in a good stead.
“I’m also mindful that going up the leagues makes us more attractive to other players who might want to join us, but I do like to be loyal.”