Yeovil Town have announced plans to bring back women’s and girls’ football to the club nearly four years after the loss of the team which made it to Women’s Super League.
On New Year’s Day, the club confirmed that it was establishing Yeovil Town Women’s Football Club and was in discussions with the Somerset FA about which league it will play in.
In a statement, it said: “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 is 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.”
In December, club director Stuart Robins, Martyn Starnes, the (as yet to be announced, but assumed to be) club Chief Executive, set up a new business Yeovil Town Women’s Community Trust Limited, with Ian Maskell and Jamie Phillip, a former head coach of Yeovil Town Ladies.
The pair now run the South Somerset Regional Talent Centre, which promotes itself as having no attachment to a specific club “keeping options and opportunities open.”
The statement continues: “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 South West for women’s football.”
Yeovil Town Ladies won the Women’s Super League (WSL) Division 2 in 2016 and were promoted to the top tier of the English women’s game where they played against the biggest sides in the country, including Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea.
They remained there until the end of the 2018-19 season having finished bottom of Division 1 having been deducted 10 points for filing notice to go in to administration – albeit they never actually did.
As a result they were denied an operating licence for the Championship and would have to contest the following season as a third tier club instead.
The ownership of the club switched to Adam Murry, with former owner Stephen Allinson settling all debts before making the sale, who appointed Phillip and rebranded the team as Yeovil Town Women.
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought a premature end of the season and the following summer the club underwent another rebranding to Yeovil United which then merged with Bridgwater Town to create Bridgwater United in March 2021.
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