As the FA Women’s National League season gets underway this weekend, we thought it was time for us to give you the low-down on who’s who in the Argyle Women’s Squad.
It would be fair to say that last season was the cliched ‘game of two halves’; Argyle struggled to find any rhythm or momentum early on but through continued determination, form and results picked up post-Christmas with 8 wins and 2 draws. Leaving it late to mathematically secure survival but doing it in style with a 5-0 win over MK Dons at Manadon and a 96th minute equaliser away at fellow survivors London Bees.
A slow churn of players throughout the 2 covid curtailed seasons saw a vast array of differing line-ups, however, it now appears far more consistent and with the right recruitment Argyle Women could be in for a fantastic season this time around.
Pre-season has the side well prepared with an array of varying opposition. Including wins over Liskeard Athletic (11-2), Swansea City (4-1) and a defeat away to Selsey WFC (1-3).
Here’s hoping this season will be a continuation of the great work Ryan Perks and his support team have carried out thus far.
On to the squad…
#1 Jasmine Read
Last season’s #25, Read is now without doubt Argyle’s number 1 picking up the gloves following on from Poppy Soper’s move to Women’s Super League champions Chelsea. Signed in March, with appearances at Bridgwater under her belt keeping a clean sheet on debut, she followed it up by doing the same in green; coming off the bench in the 5-0 win against Hounslow.
Her first start came away at Ipswich and with consistent minutes has come on leaps and bounds in that time. She may be shorter in stature but more than makes up for any deficit with quick reactions and a command of crosses that had previously escaped the side. Even while assuming we’ll look to bring some competition for places, I fully expect Jasmine to keep hers.
Boyfriend Reece is also a member of the Goalkeeping Union; recently snapped up by Bristol-based Odd Down FC.
— Jasmine Read (@jasmine_read1) March 6, 2022
Talking of Poppy – she’s since signed with Charlton Athletic in the Women’s Championship.
At the time of writing, Cat Rockett appears to be the back-up with several impressive U23’s appearances to her name, but with the #13 shirt yet to be decided it’s unclear as to whom is vying for #1 spot.
#2 Sophie Perrin
At Last Season’s FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester City a familiar face appeared on the touchline; Argyle’s very own Sophie Perrin, a Royal Navy Able Seaman by trade, Perrin walked out in front of 49,000+ at Wembley to present the trophy on the plinth and at full-time was present in the royal box to hand the trophy to winning captain Madgalena Eriksson.
Often deployed across the globe, Perrin is deployed at full-back for Argyle with the rare shift at centre-back when required. A wide defender with incredible delivery and an eye for a lofted ball over the heads of back-peddling defenders.
— Ryan Perks (@RyanPerks5) May 15, 2022
#3 Rosie Train – 2021-22 Player’s Player
Rosie’s progression has come on tenfold under Ryan Perks’ tenure and since her first Argyle minutes, now she’s seen as more of a tenacious full-back who won’t give wingers a moment’s peace. Rosie possesses incredible delivery, both set pieces and whipped crosses rank high on her key skills and have led to an array of headed finishes from those in the middle; Natasha Knapman often being the recipient. Although assists are her main attacking asset, it doesn’t stop the full-back trying her luck from distance.
#5 Panagiota Papaioannou – 2021-22 Manager’s Player of the Season
Pana, or Giota to her mates, is a firm favourite of the London-based PASALB supporters group who have sponsored the Greek defender for the past three seasons. Solid and reliable, Jota is often deployed at centre-back and has featured alongside a vast-array of partners. Able to cover anywhere along the back-line when needed, as a useful asset to Ryan Perks’ armoury – who named her his Player of the Season last time out. International duty often calls for the Plymouth Uni student who proudly represents Greece alongside the Green of Argyle. Here’s hoping she sticks around post-degree.
#6 Lucy Hack
It appears nothing will stop Lucy’s momentum in the Argyle side; firstly making her debut for the U23’s as a 16-year-old and then a few months later earning a call-up to the senior side through competent and assured performances at the back.
First the FA Cup came calling; named on the bench in the win vs St. Austell then into a starting berth against Clapton in the fourth round, Hack has since gone on to collect league minutes against Ipswich and been an ever-present in Pre-Season. We could be in for a fantastically consistent season with Hack at the base of our defence, hopefully more Sweet Caroline to be sung yet!
#14 Sam Cox – New Signing
Another American added to the Argyle ranks, Sam hails from Florida but switched the East Coast for the South-West to pursue a career in the football, enrolling on Marjon’s Football Coaching & Development degree. While finding her feet in the UK, Sam played for Bridgwater United U21 and was also selected as assistant coach for their U16 Girls alongside playing. Prior to flying across the pond, Sam played within the U.S Soccer Development Academy, National Premiere League, and Florida State Premiere League.
Often utilised at centre-back, Ryan Perks described the new addition as a ‘good young addition to the squad, a very calm defender who fits into our playing style at the club’, traits often echoed by those who have seen her development; cool, calm and collected who’s intelligence is her biggest threat.
Welcome, Sam Cox! Our third summer signing!
"I’m very pleased to sign for Argyle and I'm looking forward to this season. It’s a great environment with the staff and girls alike. I’m very excited to be a part of it!"#pafc | #incoming pic.twitter.com/ufyINBn8WQ
— Plymouth Argyle Women FC (@ArgyleWFC) July 26, 2022
#16 Scarlett McMahon
Alongside Ruby Murphy and Rosie Train, Scarlett is a graduate of Mount Kelly’s Girls’ Performance Programme which is run in collaboration with Chelsea FC – with the three of them playing at Stamford Bridge in the recent off-season. Recently called upon to wear the national colours of Wales and Devon FA, Scarlett will hope to add quality depth that’s often been amiss.
#17 Tiana Campbell – One to Watch
Young Tiana Campbell has risen through the youth ranks and is beginning to stamp her mark on the side. Don’t let her age fool you, her determined attitude, quick pace and ability to drop the shoulder at any moment will leave every National League attacker quaking. Often played at full-back last season it appears she may be destined for minutes further up the wing if this year’s pre-season campaign is anything to read into.
I have no doubt that with the right development and playing-time Tiana could well be the next Argyle youth picked up by a Championship or WSL side, if not America!
#19 Ruby Murphy – 2021-22 U23’s Player’s Player
Another from the Mount Kelly’s Girls’ Performance Programme conveyor belt of talent, Ruby’s first team debut came in the away game against Ipswich at Felixstowe and Walton’s Goldstar Ground after impressing in the U23’s set up and followed that up with a start against Southampton less than a month later. A commanding defender with an eye for a long-range pass, should she adapt to the quicker tempo Ruby will be a fantastic asset to this season’s side.
#22 Anna Barnes – New Signing
Previously of Swindon Town, Anna left The Robins to join the University of Marjon. It appears Swindon’s loss is our gain as Anna slotted seamlessly into our pre-season and a starting berth in our season opener away to Cheltenham Town. Chipping in with the odd goal to boot, Barnes’ is often deployed anywhere along the back line and looks a solid addition to the squad.
“I’m really excited that I’ve signed for Argyle. The girls and staff have all been so welcoming during pre season, which has helped me to settle in really well”
#4 Jemma Rose
It’s not just football that’s come home. Former England U17 Captain and former Argyle youth prospect, Jemma Rose has since returned to the Girls in Green. Jemma rose through the Centre of Excellence ranks and headed straight into the Argyle first team post-16th birthday. Leaving Argyle to further her career she represented Bristol Academy and Birmingham City while on a 2-year scholarship at Loughborough University’s FA Player Development Centre. Later enrolling at Marjon and re-joining Bristol she won the 2011 FA Young Player of the Season, Goal of the season, for a long-range free kick against Doncaster Belles, and collected minutes in the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League.
The accolades didn’t stop there as in 2013 Rose helped Great Britian to win gold in the Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia – re-united with England U23 coach Mark Sampson. 2014 saw Arsenal come calling, and alongside a win in her sole England first-team call up, she stamped more minutes into her Women’s Super League logbook.
#8 Kayley Lane
Comparisons to Jill Scott wouldn’t be the most ill-judged for the Argyle midfielder, long-legged and strong in the challenge Lane often-holds the keys for many a front-foot defensive display. Most probably less sweary than Jill’s infamous rant, but still a leader in the middle of the park and often keen to get her head on any ball floated into the box, many of which land between the sticks. A real unsung hero of the Argyle side in recent years and her work rate would really go amiss should she move on.
#10 C. Zoe Cunningham – 2021-22 Women’s National League Player’s Player + Argyle Women’s Player’s Player + Fan’s Player of the Season
It goes without saying that Cunningham is the jewel in this Argyle side. A standout performer who’s fully deserving of all praise after collecting the National League’s Player’s Player award among a host of club accolades. Whilst she’s the main creative heart in the middle, she’s not afraid of a strong challenge and her ball retention is key and killer from dead-ball situations. A balanced midfield of Cunningham, Lane and Crawford is one to watch this season.
It’s 1-1 here at half time thanks to a brilliant free kick equaliser from Zoe Cunningham
More highly contested action to come in the second half@ArgyleWFC @gillswomenfc #pawfc pic.twitter.com/OHc0Zfb2V0
— QuinnKJ Photography (@QuinnKJPhoto) September 26, 2021
OUTGOING: Beth Ireland – 2021-22 Goal of the Season vs Portsmouth
Ireland, along with Cunningham, in the middle of the park have been ever-present since I started watching the side. Another whose talents can often go unnoticed until she’s missing. A ball carrier who is also quick to recover, the midfielder is usually the base of any forward momentum in the side.
While writing this guide, Beth has been rewarded for her excellent form since 2020 with a football scholarship in America. All the best, Beth!
Congratulations to Beth Ireland on landing a football scholarship in America! Beth joined the club in 2020 and has since played 42 games scoring 4 goals! ⚽
— Plymouth Argyle Women FC (@ArgyleWFC) August 3, 2022
#15 Rose Mason-White
Another summer singing for the Greens sees Mason-White join the fold. Previously registered to AFC Wimbledon and London Bees, she made her goal-scoring introduction against Liskeard in pre-season. Assuming she’ll be in and around the squad with more game time in the U23s ahead of earning any call-up. Still, time will tell and here’s hoping she can stamp her authority on a starting berth.
#18 Imy Crawford
Another player who has secured her spot despite the ever-changing nature of recent seasons. A creative midfielder with an eye for a long-range ball over the top, Crawford will look to replace the talismanic Ireland since her departure.
#9 Kaitlyn Morgan-Hemmens
A new signing for the greens and straight into the #9 spells good things. Has chipped in with a few goals over pre-season but here’s hoping the former Cardiff City Ladies striker can be the one to lead the line and help Argyle slowly climb the table.
— Pasoti (@Pasoti1) July 27, 2022
#7 Charlotte Whitmore – Star Signing
Often reserved for creative midfielders, Argyle’s relatively new number 7, Charlotte Whitmore, likes to operate high in the final third opposed to the middle. Her first-start at the tail end of last season against Southampton saw her earn a second start against Bridgwater – the 1-1 draw that saw Argyle secure survival.
The 20 year-old initially signed on a dual-registration terms with AFC St. Austell where she won the golden boot with 35 goals in 18 games (including six hat-tricks), Player’s Player, Manager’s Player and rounded it all off nicely with the League Title to boot, although it would appear her focus is now on the greens after goals against both her old side and Swansea City in pre-season already.
We held our first ever (in person and not on zoom) end of season awards on Friday night. Here are some highlights:
First up, @Char_Whitmore took home Top Scorer with 35 in all comps.
— AFC ST AUSTELL LADIES (@AfcAustell) May 22, 2022
As for St. Austell, their own adventure into the National Women’s League has been bolstered by the signings of those previously on Argyle’s books in Izzy Mansell, Beth Everson and Rosie Shipp, whether these are permanent or loan deals wasn’t disclosed in the announcements.
#11 Amber Pollock
Loved by all at the Senior Greens, Amber has been an ever-present in the side in recent seasons, despite an injury setback last season. Known for her quick burst of pace and keen eye for goal, Pollock often remains cool-headed and is often found running on to the end of Cunningham’s defence-slitting through-balls and slotting home in style – none more evident than two fantastic finishes in last season’s 2-2 draw away at London Bees. From the outside she’s seen as Argyle’s leading lady up-top and has again lit up pre-season, including a hat-trick against Liskeard. This season sees Amber inherit the #11 shirt from the out-going Beth Ireland.
#12 Gabi Alphous – PFA Community Champion
If Gabi’s tenacity off the pitch is as ferocious as on it then it’s no wonder she collected the PFA Community Champion Award for her volunteering and involvement in ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ sessions. Often a huge impact from the bench with her rapid pace and energy with direct runs at defenders causing havoc and leaving bodies on her way through to goal.
Also the first Argyle player to wear the number 12 since it was dedicated to the fans? This I’m not sure on, but could well be.
Lily Greenslade – New Signing: Dual Registration
Our 6th summer signing sees Lily, a versatile forward option, join Argyle on a dual-registration with WSL2 side Bristol City – with whom she made her first team debut in a 3-0 win at Ashton Gate. Speaking to Argyle’s media team, Lily gave some insight into what she will look to offer the greens; ‘I’m quite confident. I do like to get on the ball and drive at players’ with aims of utilising this opportunity to strengthen her game with goals and long-term aims of promotion this season.
Our 6th newest pilgrim! Welcome to the club, Lily Greenslade! 💚
Lily joins us on on a dual registration contract with @bristolcitywfc.
— Plymouth Argyle Women FC (@ArgyleWFC) August 19, 2022