Abbie Britton has today announced her retirement from playing, choosing to focus all her efforts on coaching, as herself and Aaron Wakley have been handed control of the first team at Exeter City.
Abbie began her career at Bristol Academy, then know as Filton College, where she was part of a successful Academy. The Team would win National Titles during her two years there, before Abbie took some time out of the game. On her return to the game she headed to South Wales, where a spell at Swansea City was rewarded with UEFA Champion’s League Football before a move to Cardiff City followed.
Abbie would play an integral role in Cardiff’s success in this period, scoring a decisive long range strike in the Premier League Cup Quarter Final against Coventry, as she would Captain the side to the Final against Tottenham in 2015. Unfortunately, Abbie would suffer a fractured tibia whilst representing Cardiff in 2017 in what would be her last game for the Blues after making over sixty appearances.
Alongside her work with the Community Trust, Abbie would start her Exeter career the following season, partnering with Clive Watts to lead a young City team into a new era after the previous year’s relegation. As she returned from injury, Abbie would play nine games for City in the 2017/2018 Season, underlining her undoubted quality with seven goals, including a hat trick in a game at Marine Academy Plymouth.
The following season would be a hugely successful one for the team as they won the South West Premier Division, Abbie would play eight games, scoring three times. Perhaps the most recognisable of those goals came in the Devon Cup tie at St James Park. Played in front of a crowd of over 600 supporters, a long range free kick found the top corner as Abbie’s stunning strike brought the Grecians level on the day.
As City made the step up, Abbie become a more pivotal part of the team. In the highly successful first season at National League level, she had her busiest playing season as a Grecian, playing fourteen times and scoring thirteen goals. Abbie would score a hat trick at Cheltenham Town in this season, as City battled it out with a familiar foe in an FA Cup tie.
Whilst the current League campaign was hugely interrupted by National Lockdown, Abbie made seven appearances, scoring three times. This season, thought brief, incapsulated all that Abbie brings to Exeter City. When injuries and availability effected the team she found herself in some unfamiliar positions on the pitch, playing, in what was to prove her final game, at right full back and using her experience to best assist the team. Abbie also scored a stunning strike to gain a point against Southampton Women, long range goals being a feature to her play. Abbie’s final goal for City was an 89th minute penalty in the Cup tie against Cheltenham Town, calm, composed and confident, all qualities that the team will undoubtedly miss next season.
For Abbie, the exciting next chapter in her football career is set to begin. "After years of playing I feel now is the time to hang my boots up. With the management opportunity arising at Exeter City the timing feels right.”
Abbie’s on field presence will certainly be a miss, but as she aims to bring more focus to her coaching career, she has certainly had an on field career she can look back on with pride.