BRIGHOUSE Town Women manager Rob Mitchell has seen his side promoted to the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division, but knows his side cannot afford to stand still if they want to make the most of their time there.

Their league season was curtailed in March, but after a promotion application to the FA was approved, given they had the best points per game ratio in the FAWNL Division One North over the past two seasons, they are finally going up.

A delighted Mitchell said: “It’s unbelievable, a massive achievement for all of us. We’ll look to next season now and try to challenge the top teams in the division.

“It will be tough, but we’ll give it our all and see where it takes us.”

Brig have already been mixing it with teams at that level recently, with Mitchell saying: “We only played Sunderland last week, who’ve just been promoted out of that division to the Women’s Championship. They beat us 2-1 but I felt we dominated the game.

“We took Huddersfield (who finished top of the Northern Premier Division in 2020/21) all the way to penalties in the FA Cup, but that’s a different beast, as it’s a one-off game.

“The league will be more difficult as I think it’s over 24 matches. I’m confident we won’t go straight back down though.”

Expanding on why he thinks that, Mitchell said: “Players are going to come in to add to the quality we’ve already got.

“You can never stand still in football, though it’s about evolution not revolution.

“We don’t need wholesale changes, but just to freshen up where it’s needed.

“Some players have been here a long time, some for a short time, but they may have done their job, so we need the best possible player in that position.

“If we bring in three or four players and they’re better than what we’ve got, they’ll earn the shirt.

“I’ll always give people a chance, so those players who aren’t starting have the option to try and get better, or move on, and I’d hope they’d do the former.

“We want to improve the squad because you can’t win points with just 11 players, you need 15 or 16 to get higher up the league.”

One person who could feature heavily next season is teenager Katja May, who has been called up to the England Colleges Women’s National Team and is also set to play out in America from the autumn of 2022.

Mitchell said: “We’re very proud of Kat. She’s played for our U18s, development side and first team.

“She’s not been a regular starter in the latter but has always done well, and she’s still so young at 17.

“We’ve got her for another year before she goes to play and study in America, where she’ll learn a lot, then hopefully we’ll have her come back to us as a Women’s Championship side.”

The Brighouse players will certainly be in good shape ahead of the new season, as they do the Three Peaks Challenge for the second successive weekend.

They are doing so in order to raise money for both the women’s football club as well as Motor Neurone Disease Association, a motor neurone disease charity very close to the club's heart.

All donations will be split 50/50 between the club and the charity. 

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