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Excitement building as SSFC Women prepare for return

South Shields Women skipper Becki McMahon is “buzzing” with the team’s strong start to the league season and hopes the good form can continue heading into 2024.

The Mariners are undefeated in the NERWFL Premier Division after eight matches played and stand every chance of gaining promotion into the fourth tier for the first time in the club’s history, if things continue to go their way. 

And while the team was knocked out of all the cups available to them, the focus is now on the league with 14 crucial games left to be played this season. 

She said: “I'm buzzing with how we’ve started the season; obviously we’re all disappointed with being knocked out of the cups but the positive to that is now all our focus can be on the league and getting promoted.”

It’s fair to say the lasses have been clinical in front of goal when it mattered, with thrashings at home against Hartlepool United (9-0), Harrogate Town (5-0) and an away win versus Redcar Town (0-4) standing out among others.

Shields comfortably have the best goal difference in the division, with their +27 being nine greater than Barnsley’s +18, even after their recent 0-10 dismantling win against Harrogate.

“One of the biggest takeaways from the first half of the season is how many goals we have scored - the goal difference speaks for itself,” she continued.

“In previous seasons that’s something that’s let us down along with keeping clean sheets. This season already we’ve kept six clean sheets. 

“If you don’t concede you don’t lose, which is going to be crucial for us winning the league.”

Looking forward, McMahon is excited for what is in store, as Shields look set to lock horns against some of the title challengers for the first time: the Mariners haven’t faced Spennymoor Town, Sunderland West End or Barnsley in the league yet. 

She added: “I’m excited for the next half of the season.

“We’ve had a good break and got everyone back from injury now too which is a massive bonus. 

“We’re all excited to hopefully get a good run of games after a few being called off for weather before the Christmas break and build some momentum now. 

“We know we have some tough games ahead but we’re ready for the challenge.”

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