Back in the summer of 2014, Annie Heatherson had retired from the game she had been playing at a senior level since 2001 – 100 appearances for a new club seemed worlds away and nigh on impossible.
But in December of that year Yeovil came along – managed by Jamie Sherwood – and as they say, the rest is history.
On Thursday 10th October 2019 Annie took to the field in Green and White for the 100th time.
She marked this milestone with a goal against Keynsham Town Ladies in The FA Women’s National League in true Heatherson style, showcasing her talent and desire – worlds away from a player who had retired.
Yeovil’s number 9 kick started her first team football career with a bang in the 2002/2003 season. Following a few years in the reserves of Charlton Athletic her inaugural first team season saw Heatherson pick up not just a league cup winners medal, but FA Young Player of The Year. The early signs of her potential were clear.
Since then, her career has produced many highlights for her personally and the clubs she has played for. An FA Cup winners medal, professional seasons in America and Iceland, senior England call ups, and UEFA Champions League appearances for Bristol City Academy.
Then there’s Heatherson’s 100 appearances for Yeovil.
Her journey with the club she calls home began in 2015. A mid-table finish in which Heatherson played every league game and bagged 6 goals.
2016 was a shining light for Yeovil and the current club captain was at the heart of it. She was a key contributor to the team sealing the WSL2 title as Yeovil won the league on goal difference – pipping Bristol City to top spot. The final day of the season was a nervy affair for all connected to the club but of course Annie got involved in the goals on that day as she scored Yeovil’s second of three to ensure a historic grand stand finish to the club’s most successful season.
Since then Annie has done it all at Yeovil, from her community role, becoming a youth academy coach, playing professionally in 2018/19, to now leading by example as our captain fantastic. Her unique relationship with fans, players and staff mean she is the first person you think of when Yeovil Town Women are mentioned.
Phil Hubbard has heaped praise on Heatherson, despite having only worked with her for a short time in the first team and in her role with the youth academy.
He said: “Annie is a legend of this club. Her work rate and desire to achieve and keep developing is amazing. She is passing that on to the next generation of Yeovil players as a youth coach and you can see the respect they have for her.”
The club’s head of performance, Ewan Greenhill has worked with Annie since 2017’s Spring Series.
He echoed these sentiments by saying: “I think it’s fair to say Annie has been a complete pain in my neck but that’s maybe because her opening line to me in February 2017 was ‘I hate S&C coaches’.
“I like to think we share similar standards and that why she has bought into all that we do – she hasn’t missed a session since. Annie is all about respect and I think we all share that for her as a footballer and most importantly for the person and role model she is. Her life experiences and philosophical approach is one for players, and fans alike to aspire to.”