Wycombe Wanderers are excited to develop its partnership with Wycombe Wanderers Ladies which will see the club take over the management of the women’s team with immediate effect.
The women’s team was first established in 1989 but has been managed independently for a number of years, playing its football last season in the Southern Region WFL First Division, which is the fourth step of the winter women’s football pyramid.
Club chairman Andrew Howard, who is to move into a new role as Sporting Director of Wycombe Wanderers from August 1st, will take overall responsibility for the operation of the women’s team, and says this is the first step on an exciting journey:
“Women’s football has always been on the agenda for me since I became chairman three years ago but it has taken time for us to stabilise the whole club and set up the right infrastructure which enables us to branch out into new areas.
“We’re a supporter-owned club which means that inclusivity is key for us; everyone in the community must have the opportunity to engage with their local football club and be a part of it. The women’s team has done extremely well to sustain itself over many years with very little input or support from the club, but now the time has come for us to take them with us on our path forward.
“Women’s football has come a long way forward in recent times, receiving fantastic support from the Football Association, and the success of the national team continues to inspire many young women to take up the sport. Just last year we hosted the Lionesses for a friendly in front of 6,000 fans at Adams Park and also welcomed Arsenal Ladies and Manchester City Women for the FA WSL Continental Cup Final in 2014, which were both fantastic occasions and proved the growth in popularity of the women’s game.
“What we are seeking to build is a sustainable model which is financially neutral but provides the opportunity for more and more women to play football and become part of Wycombe Wanderers. We will need help along the way from fans and sponsors but I’m sure everyone currently connected to the football club will welcome this development and step forward to support it in any way they can.”
Charlotte Bagshaw, captain of the women’s team, says: “It’s a really exciting time for me and my team-mates to be part of a new chapter for the women’s team and we’re impressed by the chairman’s plans to help us progress on and off the pitch over the coming years.
“Wycombe Wanderers has a fantastic reputation as being a family club and for making everyone feel part of that. Together with Andrew and his fellow directors and staff, we’re already making plans for the new season and beyond and can’t wait to get the partnership underway.”
The club and representatives of the women’s team are currently working to finalise plans including locations for training and matches, management structure and player recruitment, all of which will be announced in due course.