Manchester City Women’s Development Squad finished as runners-up in the FA WSL Development League Northern Division, after being pipped to the post by Sunderland on the final day of the season.
The young Blues enjoyed an extremely impressive debut season in the league, finishing with 32 points from 16 games and losing just four matches all term.
City completed their campaign with a 1-0 victory away at Birmingham on 11 May, but had to rely on other results going their way with their closest rivals still having games remaining. Unfortunately, Sunderland thrashed Notts County 4-0 on Sunday to claim the title by a single point.
However, it has been an outstanding campaign for the youngsters and all connected with MCWFC have been delighted with the team’s performance in what has been a challenging first campaign at this level.
Reflecting on the youngsters’ excellent season, Development Team Manager Angela Willoughby told mcfc.co.uk: “I am immensely proud of all the girls and couldn’t have asked for anything more. It’s been a tough year with a lot of changes following the club’s integration into the Women’s Super League but whenever I asked for more from the girls they always delivered.
“I am a great believer that if you work hard and continue to play your own style of football you will get what you deserve. I drum into the girls every week however, that talent alone will get you nowhere and it has to be accompanied by hard work and a desire to win.
“It’s extremely important for younger players to be given the chance to prove themselves and I couldn’t be prouder of those who have made the step up this year into the first team.
"Natasha Flint secured the first team’s first three league points this year with her late goal and that’s a credit to her and her hard work.
“I’m really proud of the whole team and the way they have performed this season.”
Head of Women’s Football Gavin Makel added: “We are delighted with the progress that the Development Squad have made under the leadership of Angela Willoughby.
“We’ve had two or three players that have been able to make their way into the first team and the fact that they got so close to winning the WSL Development League only goes to show the high level of footballing talent existing in Manchester.
“It has been a fantastic debut season and one which - going into the summer - everyone involved can feel very proud of what they have achieved.”
Head Coach, Leigh Wood declared: “The Development Squad have had a great season in the new WSL Development League. They have worked hard for the last 10 months, building a great team spirit and working on a new style of play that at the back end of the season has really paid off with them picking up maximum points in their last five games of the season.
“The team is a young talented squad with players that have the potential to play first team football if they continue to apply themselves properly. We have had five players that have regularly joined in with the first team training sessions, to help with their development and give them that exposure of what is expected of them at the highest level.
“Ange and Dave have done an excellent job of bringing the team together and must take a lot of the credit for how well the team have performed this season.”