Billericay Town Women have had a great start to the season so far as they currently sit in 5th place in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division and they are in a great run of form as of late. The Blues have progressed in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup after a dominant 12-0 win over Kings Lynn Town Ladies and they will now face AFC Wimbledon in the next round. Defender Lucy Jones has been at New Lodge since the 2017/18 season and she played a key part in last season’s promotion campaign. She also recently joined the 100 club at New Lodge – something only a few players are in. I asked the defender about the campaign so far, the difference at the club from when she joined to today and more.
Billericay Town Women currently sit in 5th place in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division. How would you assess the season so far?
‘It’s certainly been interesting! There’s no secret that we didn’t have the best of starts this season. As a team, we had to acknowledge that we had a number of new players, we were playing in a higher league, and against established tier three teams with players that have been playing together for a while. I think that once we got our first points on the board, we were able to settle as a collective. I think the change in management came at the right time for us as a club and James Gibson has made a conscious effort to integrate with the team as our new manager. We’ve been in a good run of form recently, and those performances have allowed us to climb up the table which I feel has put us in a good position heading into the Christmas break.’
You recently made your 100th appearance for Billericay Town. How proud were you to reach that milestone?
‘Very proud, I have to thank the managers I have played under for trusting me, and team mates (for putting up with me!), I’ve made some brilliant memories throughout my first 100 games as a Billericay Town player. Two promotions, some cup finals, and of course some great FA Cup matches. I think I speak for most players when I say that I probably wouldn’t be playing football now if I didn’t have the support of my parents. They drove me up and down the country for years when I was younger so that I could play, so if you’re reading this, thank you!’
How much do you think the club has progressed since the day you joined the club to today?
‘I genuinely think that myself, Courtney Lumley, Kim Coster, and a few bricks are the only things that haven’t changed since I signed back in the 17/18 season! We were playing in the Eastern Region Womens Football League, and now we play in the third tier of women’s football. We’re matching Championship teams for 120 minute games and hosting pre-season matches against WSL teams like West Ham United. It’s crazy to look back and see the change over the years with the stadium, owners, backroom staff, managers, players – the list could go on. I feel very lucky to have witnessed Billericay Town grow into the real community club that it is today. The women’s and girls section continues to develop, I’ve lost count of the number of teams we have here now! The fans that come to watch have always been behind us and as a team, we really appreciate the support you have shown throughout, long may that continue!’
The Blues have had a great start to the season following promotion from the fourth tier last season. How special was the 2021/22 campaign for you?
‘I say the same thing every time I get asked about last season – there was a team mentality of ‘never say die’. We were earning results by scoring in the last few minutes of games, and that was something we didn’t have in previous seasons. They were the games that earned us the title, and the games that us as players will remember the most. It taught us a lot about the character of individuals that we had in the changing room and ultimately, we deserved to be promoted, and we deserved a good party after!’
How far do you think the women’s team at Billericay Town can go?
‘As Greg Lake has said numerous times, we know our goals. Some of them have already been achieved, and as a team we are now in a good position to keep building for the future. We have a quality squad, a great management team and a well-structured set up. With that, we should be pushing for promotion to the Championship over the next few seasons.’
What are you hoping to achieve at New Lodge this season?
‘The aim for this season is to establish ourselves as a tier three side, which I think we have been doing so far. Our new signings have settled in well and now we can show the style of football that we want to play on a consistent basis.’
A massive thank you to Lucy Jones (@lucyjones.04 on Instagram) for making the time for this interview.