Ipswich Town Women missed out on the league title on goal difference in 2022/23. Ross Halls reflects on another season of progress on and off the pitch.... 


Town got their season off to a slow start, losing their first two fixtures at home to Portsmouth and Gillingham, but the Blues would only lose once more in the league as they finished the season strong with ten straight wins.

The Tractor Girls took the title race to the final day, beating Oxford United 1-0 at home, but narrowly missed out on the Southern Premier Division crown as Watford's 3-0 victory away at Billericay Town confirmed the Golden Girls as champions on goal difference.

East Anglian Daily Times: Impressive debut season for defender, Megan WearingImpressive debut season for defender, Megan Wearing (Image: Ross Halls)


As a collective it was a good season for the Tractor Girls, with plenty of standout performers throughout, especially defender Megan Wearing who was playing her first season in senior football.

The 18-year-old was a mainstay in defence, and was voted Supporters Player of the Year, while also winning caps for Scotland at U19s level.

Another player who impressed this season was Arsenal loanee Freya Godfrey who scored eight goals in 16 games for the Blues and has since made her senior debut for the Gunners in the WSL. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Sophie Peskett and Blue Wilson made comebacks during the seasonSophie Peskett and Blue Wilson made comebacks during the season (Image: Ross Halls)


It was also a season which saw key players return from long-term injuries with Sophie Peskett and Blue Wilson making their comebacks from ACL injuries.

Winger Peskett returned in November after being sidelined for 410 days, and went on to make 18 appearances throughout the season, scoring two goals and assisting six. 

Skipper Wilson returned to action in March after being sidelined since September 2021, but was unable to make another appearance after some niggles in her other knee. She will be back in pre-season training. 

Academy midfielder Zofia Szczęch also also made her long-awaited return in April after being sidelined for 581 days following a significant knee-injury in early September 2021. 

East Anglian Daily Times:


Boss Joe Sheehan took charge of his 100th game during the 2022/23 season, and has seen a lot of progress throughout the last 12 months.

Despite missing out on the title, the Blues continued to play great football and challenge at the top of the third tier. 

On that progress he said: "We'll always keep making progress, there was some big learnings last year as we slipped up in games and I feel like we've overcame this year in those big games.

'We want to keep getting better and we'll be relentless going into next season, trying to keep striving and improving so one day we will have our day to celebrate that." 

Sheehan was appointed back in February 2019 and, in total, his side has won 75 of his 103 games in charge, having a goal difference of plus 234 and a win percentage of 73%. That's pretty decent!

East Anglian Daily Times: Natasha Thomas signing autographs Natasha Thomas signing autographs (Image: Ross Halls)


The Tractor Girls fanbase continue to grow with an average audience of 426 at the AGL Arena in Felixstowe for league games this term.

The highest gate was 844 on the final day of the season against Oxford United, despite the men playing at Fleetwood and over 3,000 fans watching the beam back at Portman Road on the same day. 

During the season, ITFC Women Official Supporters Club (ITFC WOSC) was formed to promote the Tractor Girls and represent the interests of supporters young and old. 

East Anglian Daily Times: 2023/24 will be the Tractor Girls third season in the Southern Premier Division2023/24 will be the Tractor Girls third season in the Southern Premier Division (Image: Ross Halls)


A much needed change has been made for next season. In previous campaigns the winners of the FAWNL Southern Premier Division went into a play-off with the top side in the Northern Premier Division but from 2023/24 the title winners in both divisions will automatically be promoted to the Barclays Championship.

The 2023/24 campaign will be the Blues' third season in the Southern Premier Division and something else to look forward to is the team playing their first games at Portman Road once the new pitch has been installed.

It's also a World Cup year for women's football as Australia & New Zealand host the ninth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup in July - which will get everyone excited for another season of growth in women's football.