Ambassadors finish first season with league-and-cup silverware success

The Ambassadors Ladies enjoyed a first season within the Northern Ireland Women's Football Association as winners of a trophy double.

The Ambassadors Ladies enjoyed a first season within the Northern Ireland Women's Football Association as winners of a trophy double.

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The Ambassadors entered the Northern Ireland Women’s Football Association with the philosophy to “do football differently”.

At the end of a debut campaign, the most obvious difference between the Portadown club and South Region 2 rivals was the roll of honour.

The Ambassadors Ladies wrapped up a first season in organised football as winners of a league-and-cup trophy double - an impressive return just months after forming the club.

Established under the umbrella of The Ambassadors In Sport initiative, winter training attracted early interest that increased with each session, resulting in a 25-strong panel for the inaugural league fixture.

“What happened over the next few months was nothing short of miraculous,” said a team spokesperson. “A small nucleus of girls trained through the winter and each few weeks that went past saw another new face or two come down to have a go at training.

“The pre-match preparations include a God-focused thought which we share in the changing room.

“Our pre-match huddle involves a team prayer so that God will help us to “do football differently”, not just to be sporting or polite on the pitch, but to play in such a way that the opposition or indeed supporters recognise a difference due to our team focus on God.

“Perhaps the season was always going to get off to a winning start, but after the first victory, the goals, wins and points continued to pile up.

“A few challenging matches against Craigavon and Lisburn, the main competitors for the title, made for an interesting end to the league but a final victory of 4-1 against Ballynahinch ensured the championship in our first season.

“It was quite an impressive result but there was more silverware to be had.

“The League Cup semi-final also saw us beat Ballynahinch before taking on neighbours Craigavon in the final at Armagh City.

“We won a thrilling contest by 5-3.

“A double, like other teams, a great season.

“A double in the first season, an impressive performance and perhaps other teams have achieved this.

“But the manner in which we play the game? Completely different.”

Jemma Calvin led the scoring charts on 14, with Alex Speers next in line thanks to 13 and Delia Ferguson on 10.

The club awards were presented as follows: Players’ Player of the Year - Alex Speers; Managers’ Player of the Year - Esther Dickson; Young Player of the Year - Kirsty McNeill.

For further information on club training e-mail ambassadorslfc@gmail.com.

Visit the Northern Ireland Women’s Football Association website for all club news .