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Tulls: “We’re grateful for the help”

21 May 2013

Steve gives thanks for backing from sponsors and fans

Steve Tully has paid tribute to the financial and moral support that the Exeter City Ladies have enjoyed during their 2012/13 season.

With interest in women’s football on the rise – a crowd of over 70,000 turning out to see the Team GB ladies’ squad at last year’s Olympic Games being a case in point – the Ladies have enjoyed a steady increase in their support too.  An impressive FA Cup run, a Devon County FA Cup final victory and some hugely entertaining games against local rivals Plymouth have captured the imagination of new supporters – and Tulls, who manages the Ladies, gave his thanks in particular to Alan Smith of ALS Motor Parts for his financial input as their chief sponsor.

“We’re grateful to Alan Smith, Di Lee and the East Devon Grecians – everyone that has given us money – as it’s a big help.  Now for next season we’ll looking to get sponsors in again. 

“It helps with the travel – we probably didn’t realise how much travelling we’d be doing.  If it wasn’t for Alan’s help with ALS, we’d have struggled massively.”

With this season done and dusted, the Ladies team are looking for potential sponsors for the forthcoming 2013/14 campaign.  With the team on the rise and with interest and coverage growing, it is an opportune time to be involved with the side.  Interested parties can contact tamsin.tully@ecfcladies.co.uk for more details.

Steve continued: “Anybody that wants to help, just get in touch – we’ll do anything we can to help your business as well as help ours.  Women’s football is getting bigger and bigger, and in this area it’s growing.  Oxford, who came last week, are talking about paying their players which is a massive step; we’d love to be able to do that, but at the moment our girls are still paying subs.  Without all the help that we get, the women’s game would go under.

“We’ve had some good success in the cup this year which brought a lot of good publicity, so we’re really pleased and we’ll push on next year too.”

Following a 9-0 win against the University of Portsmouth on the final day of the league season, Steve was pleased with the Ladies’ first season in the South West Combination.  In particular their undefeated performances in derby matches against Plymouth Argyle – including the fascinating 4-3 a.e.t. Devon County FA Cup final victory in Newton Abbot – have given the team some highlights to remember fondly.

“It’s our first time in this league, and I think the girls have done really, really well,” said Steve.  “Obviously we would have liked to have finished higher and been challenging for the top, but for our first season in this league it’s been a really good season.

“To win the cup as well was brilliant; overall I’m really pleased.  And with the games against Plymouth this season, we seem to have moved onto another level – we need to try and use that in other games.”

While a generation of footballers bowed out of the game on Match of the Day on Sunday evening, the day had a similar pertinence for the Ladies, as it also marked the final game in the long career of goalkeeper Max Coupe.  

Following 28 years in women’s football – including the past two decades between the sticks – Max finally hung up her gloves, having kept a clean sheet to boot.

“It was a nice way to finish for Max in her last game.  She’s been a great goalkeeper for us – I’ve only known her for the last four years, but she’s been in the game for 20 years as a goalkeeper.  She’s a credit to women’s football, and she’s going to be a big miss – but we’ll try to get her in on the coaching side, and get her amongst the girls as she has all their respect.

“It’ll be a massive void to fill because she’s a great goalkeeper with a great personality, and fully deserves everything she gets.  Hopefully today we’ve given her a good send-off.”

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