Happy New Year! We begin 2023 with some exciting news, former Women’s Super League side, Yeovil Town, are bringing back women’s and girl’s football to the club.
A statement this morning said, “Recognising the illustrious past successes of women’s football at YTFC, playing at the pinnacle of women’s football in the Super League and acknowledging the events that led to its demise, we are proud to be launching a fully integrated women’s and girl’s football set up into a “One Club” Yeovil Town FC. This starts with the ambition to offer football to females, catering for all ages, abilities and ambitions.
“Yeovil Town Women’s Football Club (YTWFC) are in discussion with Somerset FA to establish where we will enter the tiering level of the leagues. Whilst the ambition is to play all matches at Huish Park in the future, the higher we progress through the leagues (with a sustainable business model to support pitch maintenance) the more we can play at Huish Park, making it a fortress for women’s football. YTFC are committed to integrating women’s football to the Huish Park schedule, commencing with select matches, but the more support given to YTWFC the more matches will be scheduled.”
The club has already appointed four board members with experience in Women’s and local football including Stuart Robins (shareholder YTFC), Martyn Starnes (CEO YTFC), Ian Maskell (Head girls coach – South Somerset Regional Talent Centre) and Jamie Philip (previously a coach for Yeovil Town Women). At the time of writing, we have not had it confirmed as to whether this impacts Philip’s role as Manager of National League Division One South-West league leaders Cardiff City Ladies.
Many of you will be aware of the downfall of the previous incarnation of Yeovil Town Women, the Lady Glovers ended the season 2018/19 at the foot of the Super League table after suffering a points penalty as a result of the club informing the FA of their initial intention to appoint an administrator, even though staffing cuts and financial support from the FA meant insolvency was avoided.
The club were demoted to the National League, missing out on the Championship entirely. After competing as an independent club, Yeovil United, they merged with Bridgwater United in 2021. Since then they have enjoyed success in the National League and enjoyed a historic FA Cup tie against Manchester United, doing down to a respectable 2-0 defeat in front of a sell-out home crowd.
This is not limited to women’s football as the club look to build a pathway for young girls and for both to be part of “one club” stating, “The YTWFC Junior section aspires to put Junior teams in both local grassroots FA leagues and Junior Premier Leagues (JPL). In partnership with Yeovil College, we will be championing post-16 football and education with YTWFC supporting the course and college team along with grassroots/JPL U18 teams readying the girls for the transition to women’s football with the vision of progressing through the leagues to be the leading centre in the Southwest for women’s football.”
Adding, “Our ethos for YTWFC is to establish a positive, ambitious and progressive women’s football club with a community-based mantra. We are setting out with your support, to establish a girls and women’s footballing community that offers what the community needs. This will range from Girls “football tots” sessions, “Wildcats” for juniors, “Just Play”, “Walking football” for seniors, disability football or a platform for elevation into professional football, to help girls fulfil their ambitions to play at whatever level they aspire to, semi-professional, professional or a future Lioness.”
There may be some who were impacted by the relegation who will see this as too little, too late, however, if the club’s words are to be believed then this news is to be celebrated.