South Shields had a season to remember as they finished the NERWFL Premier Division in fifth place, ending the campaign in great form.
The Mariners completed the season with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Wallsend Boys Club, after previously dispatching Sheffield Wednesday Ladies 11-0.
Looking back on a successful season, head coach Ben Garrity said: “Overall I think this season was very positive.
“To see where we progressed from losing our first three games was massively positive.
“It showed the character of the squad massively. They dug in, listened, worked hard and results started coming their way.
“We had our longest run in the FA Cup and also finished in the top half of the table, so it has been massively positive.
“The only team we didn’t took points from was York, who finished top and only lost one game, so I think that is very respectable.”
Garrity took the step-up to the managerial position while the season was underway, and enjoyed a great start at the helm.
He continued: “From a personal level, it has also been amazing.
“South Shields was my first job in women’s football as assistant manager. When Scott Curtis stepped down, that then turned into my first manager’s job in women’s football, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
“I’ve loved every minute of it and the girls were amazing throughout the season.
“I’m really looking forward to next season, as are all the girls.
“There are lots of exciting things happening at South Shields off the pitch which will all be amazing to be part of.
“The club is really pushing the women’s side and giving us a lot of backing going into the new season, which we are very grateful for.”
After ending the season in fantastic form, the Mariners have high expectations for the forthcoming campaign, and believe that they can go one step further.
Garrity added: “Our aims and expectations are very high for next season.
“We want to be up there challenging for the league and cup competitions.
“This group showed this season that they are capable of anything.
“The work has already started for next year and I genuinely cannot wait for the season ahead. It should be a very good one.”
South Shields head into their final game of the season in great form in the North East Regional Women’s League.
The Mariners are up against Wallsend at Downhill Football Hub on Sunday.
Ben Garrity’s side ran rampant in their last fixture as they proved too hot to handle and were 11-0 victors against Sheffield Wednesday.
That was their fifth win of an unbeaten six-match run and now Shields are looking to end their campaign on a high – and perhaps seal a top-four finish.
Head coach Garrity said: “It would be great to see the South Shields supporters down supporting the Ladies in our last game of the season.
“It’s been an eventful season. There have been lots of ups and downs but overall, in my opinion, it has been a massively positive one.
“We have given ourselves a very good foundation to work from going into next season.”
Shields were defeated in the reverse fixture, but have come a long way since.
Garrity added: “When we played Wallsend away from home we narrowly lost 1-0, but we had a massive off day, and that happens at this level.
“We are looking to put that right on Sunday, continue our fantastic six-game unbeaten run and end the season very well.
“It would be great to see lots of supporters there when we sign off our season and I’m sure any support will give the Ladies the extra boost they need to get over the line on Sunday.”
Entry is free at Downhill Football Hub (SR5 4BY) and the Mariners will kick off at 2pm.
Shields go into the game fifth in the table, two points behind fourth-placed Redcar Town.
South Shields FC Ladies and Durham United Women are delighted to announce a partnership which will see the female pathway strengthened at both clubs.
The partnership will see the clubs work closely together to enhance playing and coaching opportunities for their members.
South Shields FC women’s and girls lead development officer Ross Flintoft and first-team manager Ben Garrity have been integral to the launch of the collaboration.
Flintoft said: “I’m absolutely delighted our club has partnered with Durham United Women.
“It’s fantastic for our younger-aged girls too as there’s a clear pathway for them to develop in the right way.”
Durham United Women first-team manager Jack Avery said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with South Shields Ladies and hope this will be the beginning of an exciting collaboration which will set us apart from other clubs in our area.”