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Burntwood Phoenix on the rise
 Women's Football English County and other Leagues News - 16 Apr 2017
 
 
English County and other Leagues News - Burntwood Phoenix on the rise - 16 Apr 2017 - Women's Football News
 
Burntwood Phoenix have lifted the Division Two title in the Staffordshire County Women's League after a great run which saw them win ten of their final eleven league matches.
 
With the team stepping up into open age football at the start of the season, it took a few games for the team to find their feet and they won one of their opening four matches in what proved to be a tough start. A 4-2 win away to Whitchurch - who had beaten them in their opening match - was the turning point and Burntwood embarked on a run of four straight victories which put them amongst the title contenders. Defeat followed in the next match against Lichfield City but Burntwood then won all of their last six games, clinching the title in their last match against Wyrley Ladies Res.
 
Luke Machen has been manager of the team since they were Under-10s and some of the girls have played for the Under-18s and open age teams this season.
 
"I am really proud of them," Luke told Women's Soccer Scene. "The side was young in comparison to the other sides and physically they were up against it, but the football the girls played was fantastic and the opposition managers and players all said how good it was
 
"It was important to get some experienced players to help a young side and captain Kelly May Worrall-Nelson and vice captain Roxanne Thornton have been magnificent influences on the girls."
 
Luke's wife Louise sponsored the team and made sure the girls had a kit, whilst daughter Kayleigh Machen is the team's leading goalscorer. Luke himself spent eight months training to get a team for open age football and also created two Over-30s teams as a result, and manages all three teams as well as his Under-18s and Under-14s, all at Burntwood.
 
The girls have got better and better over the course of the season and in the last four games, Burntwood have scored 14 goals and conceded none. Goalkeeper Tiffany Whelan kept seven clean sheets in total and has been magnificent all season.
 
"In importance to winning the title, the 3-0 win against Lichfield in March was a big result," added Luke. "All the girls stood up to the physical battle and let their quality show. Also, the Ellesmere match where the girls were absolutely on top of their game, moving the ball beautifully. I will never forget that game. There was also a 14-1 win against Stone Dominoes where everything clicked for the girls and it was a masterclass performance.
 
"Early on in the season, the girls beat Wyrley 5-0 - again, the passing and movement was absolutely excellent with real quality at both ends. The title winning day, again against Wyrley, we won 3-0 and again were fantastic in possession and scored some fabulous goals."  
 

 
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