The Football Club is delighted to announce that Stevenage Ladies will be renamed as Stevenage FC Women...
Originally founded in 2001 as Stevenage Boro Ladies, the club was first officially linked with Stevenage FC in 2014 when it came under the Stevenage FC Foundation umbrella. Since then, the team has made tremendous progress, rising up the divisions to now be playing in the Women’s National League South East Division.
Success has become a part of the club's DNA in recent years as the Women boast two promotions, one League Cup and three Hertfordshre FA County Cups within the past five years.
In addition to the rebrand and to add further support to the aspirations of the Women’s side, the day-to-day running of it will now be handled by Stevenage FC Foundation to bring the Women’s side and the Foundation’s female football pathway closer together.
Head of Foundation, Joe Goude said “We are delighted to be bringing the Women’s side into the Foundation and providing governance, marketing and logistical support for them to not only consolidate their position in the FA Women’s National League South East Division but to push the team forward and strive for promotion to the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier Division.
"The move strengthens the Foundation’s vision of providing opportunities for people to realise their potential and alongside our girls development pathway, established last season, we feel there is a solid pathway in place that compliments the local grassroots game whilst also offering talented female footballers the chance to play in a National League.”
The Foundation have moved quick to make some initial structural changes with Project Officer, Dani Toyn supporting Dave Potter in the secretary role and retaining Mark Dicker as First Team Manager with Dave and Graeme Smith staying on as coaches.
Manager Mark Dicker said, "The change to Stevenage FC Women is really significant for the future of the club. The Women’s game is improving and moving forward everyday, so we want to keep in-line with that. I am delighted that myself and my team will be here to help guide the club forward and now that we are playing under the banner of Stevenage FC Foundation, it should provide us with an ever greater footing for onward success."
Speaking on the name change and developments, Project Officer Dani Toyn said, "We are proud to be making the change to Stevenage FC Women from ‘Ladies’ and feel that along with the new crest announcement coming soon, it is the perfect time to rebrand the Women’s team and really kick on.
"We have made the change based on player feedback and to be in-line with the FA’s broader structure where both the ‘WSL’ and the ‘WNL’ leagues are named ‘Women’s'. We wanted to reflect a modern view on language and equality and feel that dropping ‘Ladies’ helps us do this. We now can't wait to get started next season and push the team forward in their fourth consecutive season in the Women’s National League."
To further strengthen the offer at the top end of the pathway, the Women have applied for the Development Team (formerly reserves) to enter the FA Women’s National League Reserve Divisions, which last season included sides such as Tottenham Hotspur, Millwall, QPR, Watford, Crystal Palace, MK Dons and Norwich City. This step has been taken to ensure a competitive development team that can challenge first team places and creates a superb environment for developing young female footballers.
This Sunday 2nd June, the Women will host trials at Hertfordshire FA’s Community Football Centre and will be the first step to build a competitive squad for the forthcoming season. Announcements will follow on Mark’s full backroom staff, along with a pre-season friendly schedule and confirmation of a home venue for both the First Team and Development Team.
Joe Goude added “This is an exciting time for female football within Stevenage and we are delighted with the support we have received from Stevenage FC. It is clear that this Summers World Cup in France will be another landmark event for Women’s football and with the Lionesses up there with the tournament favourites, we want to ensure our local game is in the best position to capitalise on this”.
For more information about the Women’s side including how to apply for the upcoming trials, please click here. For details on the Foundation’s Female Player Pathway please visit www.stevenagefcfoundation.com.