Impetus is delighted to announce the sponsorship of our 12th player this season. Midfielder Kayleigh Tonks is a key part of the Moneyfields squad who, after several frustrating seasons when they were denied promotion, are flourishing in their first season in the FA Women’s National League Division One South-West. Kayleigh, previously with Portsmouth and Southampton Women also plays in the FA National Futsal series for Southampton Aztecs. Ben Gilby spoke to Kayleigh to find out more (6/12/22).
Above: Kayleigh Tonks (right) in action for Moneyfields against Crawley Wasps. Photo: Ryan Asman.
Kayleigh Tonks has been a key part of the Hampshire women’s football scene for a number of years. Having spent several years at Portsmouth, she then went onto Southampton Women. Kayleigh takes up the story.
“I used to watch my sister when she played at Southampton and that’s how I got into football. I started off at my local side, Bitterne Youth then moved on to Southampton Saints where we won the league three seasons in a row. Me and my sister Bekah decided we wanted more of a challenge so went down to trial at Portsmouth, I played and enjoyed it as it was more of a challenge and the league was a good standard.
“From there I went to Southampton Women where I had two good seasons with them, I then felt it was time for a change so made the move to Moneyfields, Karl Watson (manager) had done so much for the team, and this is one of the things that attracted me to the club.”
Watson is one of those that Kayleigh identifies as one of those who have played an important role in developing her as a player. “I want to mention Karl who’s been great for the team at Moneyfields, he’s made me enjoy the game again. My parents took me to every game when I was younger, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without their support.
“My sister Bekah has also been key in helping me reach now as we have supported each other throughout our time playing football from Portsmouth to now Moneyfields. I am really enjoying playing with her again (the pair had previously come up against each other when Portsmouth took on Southampton).”
It is clear that Moneyfields have a prominent place in Kayleigh’s heart, as she readily admits that it is thanks to them that she has renewed love for the game.
“Moving to Moneyfields was the best decision I could have made as Karl (Watson, head coach) does so much for the players and I have loved every minute.”Kayliegh Tonks, Moneyfields FC.
Alongside her successes at Moneyfields, Kayleigh also plays for futsal for Southampton Aztecs in the FA National Futsal Series, the games’ top league, something that she not only enjoys massively but feels benefits her 11-aside game too.
“This is my second season playing futsal for the Aztecs. In the first season, we achieved promotion and I was top goalscorer, it was a great season and as a team, we did really well. This season has been up and down but we all enjoy it so much and are lucky to be able to play at some top places including St. George’s Park!
“Futsal has benefited me massively, I feel more confident on the ball as the area is a lot smaller. As the pace of the game is much quicker I feel it has made my passing and movement better. We train twice a week and play a couple of games a month so I feel I can keep my fitness up when I’m not playing football, however, this can be tiring playing so much during the week but I enjoy it!”
After missing out on a place in the FA Women’s National League several times, something not helped by the limited seasons during the pandemic and the result that promotion was not decided on the pitch, Moneyfields finally took their deserved place in tier four at the end of last season.
“It was frustrating especially as we had already achieved so much with the games we had played but we never gave up and we stuck together as a team and achieved the promotion that we deserved which everyone was excited about, and I feel we definitely deserved it as a team,” Kayleigh reflected. “We are a close team and the bonds off the pitch match those on which helps us during training and games.
“The players are so supportive of each other and this has helped us achieved what we want at the moment. All the coaches work really well together and they have made us into the team we are now. We all have lots of respect for them with the amount of work they do for us all so this gives us the motivation to go on and do well.”
It is not just the senior squad at Moneyfields who are growing and experiencing success. The club are developing a new home and adding new age group teams. Kayleigh is proud to be part of such a forward-moving club where the development of players from girls to the first team is so valued.
“The club as a whole are continuing to grow and we are all really looking forward to playing and training at the new ground that is being built as it will be good to have a home pitch that we are regularly playing on with some great facilities! It has also been amazing to see the youth girls section continuously growing with lots of new players and coaches come in which will massively help the club as a whole.”
Moneyfields are currently comfortably placed in seventh in the tier four FA Women’s National League Division One South-West, and Kayleigh just wants to keep the positive mood at the club going for as long as possible.
“For this season our aims are to work hard on the training ground and implement that into games so that we can keep getting the results. We will continue to try and push as far up the league as we can and keep supporting each other to achieve these results. My personal goals are to carry on enjoying football so that I can help the team to achieve our goals and aims by performing well and working hard.”
To see all of Impetus’ sponsored players and partner clubs for 2022/23, click here: https://impetusfootball.org/partnerships/