Spennymoor Town FC has launched its first ladies’ team since 2008.
With a football-for-all ethos, the club has embarked on a six-month campaign of structural and procedural improvement to open its academy to young people of all ages, genders and abilities.
This has culminated with the exciting announcement of an adult ladies’ team, which is ready for action to start the 2019/20 season in the Durham County FA Women’s Development League this Sunday.
The team will be managed by Domonic Bylett and his assistant Matt Gatiss, assisted by former Sunderland ladies player Helen Richardson as team coach and Steven Brass as goalkeeping coach. The quartet have been working in recent weeks to recruit 24 players to their new squad.
The team will be kicking off their campaign at Shildon AFC’s Dean Street due to the ground works taking place at Spennymoor’s Brewery Field. They will be based there for their first season with a view to relocating to the Moors’ home for 2020/21.
A new girls’ football programme began just over three months ago at Spennymoor Town and has now grown to more than 35 girls and young women playing competitive football for the club in an FA-approved Girls’ Wildcat Centre, which caters for players of all abilities. However, the new ladies’ team is the first of its kind for more than a decade and is intended to inspire the club’s youth players and girls in the area to continue to play football long-term.
Andy Lowe, Head of Academy (and women’s and girls’ football) at Spennymoor Town, said: “We have a clear strategy for the next five years and beyond which places ladies’ and girls’ football at the heart of our position as a community club under our ‘one club’ umbrella.
“Our new team and the ladies’ set-up has been an integral aspect in our recently announced partnership with the National League Trust, with whom we are now an official partner for our community and girls football programme. The sport has grown substantially in our country, buoyed by the successful 2019 World Cup, and we want to make sure Spennymoor is the stand-out club for this in our area, providing a solid foundation for the growth of the sport and with age-appropriate programmes leading to our ladies’ team.
“When I speak about ‘one club’ it refers to the fact that we now have a structure running throughout our first teams and academy which ensures our men, women, boys’ and girls’ teams all operate as one single entity and a single club.
“This is best demonstrated on training nights at our Tudhoe Complex where we can see both of our first teams and academy teams all training in one place.
“Spennymoor Town is moving with the times and laying the foundations for future growth and retention. We’re under no illusions this will take time, but it’s an exciting journey we are proud to have started. We have appointed a very experienced ladies management team and more recently a designated phase lead for girls’ football.”
Domonic Bylett, Ladies’ Team Manager, said: “The opportunity to join such a professional club and to hear the importance from Andy on where the ladies’ and girls’ games sit within the club is exciting.
“We are just at the start of our journey and we are honoured to be given this opportunity to develop the ladies’ game as part of Spennymoor’s ‘one club’.
“The ladies have all shown a real determination and focus in pre-season and we’re enjoying the professional approach and challenge associated with a club of Spennymoor’s stature.
“We’ve been inundated in recent weeks with team and player sponsorship requests for the ladies and local companies who want to be a part of this exciting time. There are still sponsorships available for the new team so we’d love to hear from interested parties.”
Spennymoor Ladies kick off their inaugural season away to Newton Aycliffe Ladies this Sunday, 1st September.
Any individuals or businesses interested in sponsoring or getting involved with Spennymoor Ladies, or enrolling their daughter in a girls’ football team within Spennymoor Town Youth FC, should email [email protected].