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Saints Set To Launch Professional Women's Team
Sunday, 25th Mar 2018 11:21

Saints are set to bid to enter into a Women's team into the professional ranks according to the media, guest redandwhitesupporter looks at the news.

According to a BBC journalist Southampton have joined Manchester United into bidding to enter a female side into the Women's Championship division.

Should both teams be successful with their bids it would be significant as it would mean every current Premier League side would have an affiliated senior Women's football team on their books.

The bids are for a team to be entered from the 2018-2019 season with only a maximum of 5 bids aloud to be permitted both Premier league sides face competition from the likes of Derby County, Sheffield United and Charlton Athletic.

The club had made a big commitment into the women's game when it signed it's sponsorship deal with American outfit Under Armour.

This lead to an under 21s female side being confirmed last summer to build on its successful girls regional talent club.

On the clubs commitment into women's football Chairman Ralph Krueger had the following to say in April 2016:

“First of all it’s a question of respect.

“That’s something where I really believe, and we all do at Southampton Football Club, of the importance of giving girls and women the opportunity to find their personal excellence through sports.

“What we do here at Southampton Football Club is do that with our staff, and we challenge our staff to really find growth.

“That was a moment when the Under Armour relationship started it became a given they would do something with us.

“They are going to help us and they are expediting the technology and the innovation that they have already in women’s sports and then bringing our ‘Southampton Way’ and the way we teach the game. That’s another opportunity to expand that teaching and give more opportunities to expand it.

“We will be hiring somebody to lead that whole programme, the Les Reed of the women’s and girl’s game, will be presented here in the next few weeks.

“It’s a commitment that’s not just lip service, we are going to live this and bring excellence into that programme.”

Krueger’s eventual aim is to get a player come through the Saints ranks to represent England, but the first step is to get FA approval.

“We find out from the FA at the end of this month what tier we get to step in on and according to that it will be which facilities we use and so on,” he explained.

“There is still a lot to do but we will launch this in 2016-17, they will be playing football between ten and 16.

“The women’s team is another entity.

“Right now with the FA we are trying to get the academy level set up properly and launch that in 2016 but I have to be careful on details because we don’t know our tier yet. Once we know our tier we put things into place, but we have facilities lined up and options and we will put that together in May or June when we have it all together.”

Should the clubs bid for a professional women's side be successful I hope all Saints fans will joined me in giving it our full support.

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underweststand added 16:55 - Mar 25
This is a very positive move by Saints who have always had "family profile" and there are a significant number of female fans who attend Saints games both home and away.

It has to be said that the "women's game" worldwide has improved by leaps and bounds in the last 10 years, and the skill factor is very impressive for a sport that has been largely ignored by both fans and sponsors for decades past.

The England Women's team recently reached their highest-ever FIFA rating, and many countries have a Women's side that rates higher than their male equivalents.

Many Premier League clubs have very strong Woman's teams who play in European tournaments against top club sides and employ leading international players from Germany, Sweden, Brazil and USA where they are very well supported.

It may take time to establish a good level for a ladies side, but we must give them an opportunity to show their potential. Their games may not fill SMS with fans for a while but it would be great to have a ladies side that can succeed as well as the (male) Academy has done for their younger players.


sandywelsh added 19:43 - Mar 26
Why? They must be able to make money out of it.

underweststand added 15:16 - Mar 27
Of course it'll be extra income, and running a ladies section won't be done for love but for those fans who are vaguely interested in the concept of a Saints womean's side will get a chance to see the Women's National side play at SMS on April 6th.....

Hopefully no-one will try and play the "gender game "and compare it to the men's game because the standard in the Prem. is .."supposedly " one of the best in the World, but there may be a few surprises for those who think it's just a team of girls having a "kick-about for fun"....

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