Fern Burrage-Male picks up Manager of the Month Award for February

Fern Burrage-Male has been awarded the FA Woman’s National League Premier Division Manager of the Month award for February.

It was a month where Fern guided her side out of a season long relegation battle with three league wins in a row.

Cardiff City Ladies came in to February off the back of a disappointing 3 – 0 loss away to Rugby Borough. The club sat just five points off the relegation zone.

In February they were to play three huge games against the teams around them.

The Dragons had only won two games in the league before February and were in desperate need of a change in fortune.

Their first game of the month saw them host Billericay Town. The visitors were in good from having won three from their last five games.

In the reverse fixture, the two sides drew 3 – 3, and indication of the challenges that Billericay Town Women presented.

Fern and her side, depleted with injuries, would have to battle against all odds to claim victory in front of a home crowd.

With the help of new signing Tianna Teisar, The Dragons left Billericay shell shocked in the first half. Goals from Chloe Lloyd and Ellie Sargent were the rewards of a truly captivating 45 minutes. A 2 – 1 victory marked City’s first win of the calendar year and the beginning of a season-saving run.

Just a week later Cardiff would travel to Chatham where Fern and her side looked to capture their second consecutive win for the first time this season. The pressure was felt universally as both teams knew that this was a must-win match.

The Chats hadn’t won all season and a first win for them against Cardiff would see them drag their opponents back into the race for survival with them.

But Fern’s side stood firm on the east coast. Chloe Lloyd chipped in again as well as Jessie Taylor to help Cardiff to a vital 2 – 0 victory. The result also came with a very rare clean sheet – only their second of the season.

Picking up momentum, The Dragons needed one more win to cap off a sensational run.

Their opposition, Cheltenham Town Ladies.

This would be their biggest test so far in the run. The Robinesses had handed Cardiff City a 3 – 0 defeat last time they’d visited in November. On top of that they had recently beaten title challengers Hashtag United.

With the odds against her side again, Fern Burrage-Male was not deterred and remained ever confident that the team had the ability to win. This would be a sign of real progression.

And win they did! A first club goal for Tianna Teisar and one for the rapid Ruby Scahill, The Dragons would achieve a third win on the bounce. Their 2 – 1 win over the Robinesses capped off a 100% record in February.

The remarkable achievement came only two months after Fern Burrage-Male took over a side seeming doomed for relegation.

As of now Fern’s side are 16 points clear of the drop zone. After beating Plymouth last Sunday to make it four wins in five, Cardiff City Ladies are now safe from relegation and have set their sites on the top half.

After a month that all but saved the future of Cardiff City Ladies (soon to be Gwalia United) Fern Burrage-Male has rightfully been handed the FANWL Manager of the Month award.