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Leicester City pledges full support as women's football goes pro

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Women’s football will go professional in Leicestershire from the 2020-21 season, while Leicester City Football Club (LCFC) has reaffirmed its commitment to the development of the women’s game.

 

 

The club had been in talks with the independently established Leicester City Women’s Football Club (LCWFC) which has been supported by LCFC since its formation in 2004.

King Power International, Leicester City’s parent company, has completed the acquisition of LCWFC, which will now turn professional and join Leicester City’s senior men, under-23 and under-18 among the core teams within the club’s football operation. The transfer of the team’s FA Women’s Championship licence to LCFC was approved on Tuesday.

General manager Jade Morgan, team manager Jonathan Morgan, 12 members of the playing squad and a number of key support staff will be retained from the previous setup, which will now go full-time, LCFC said.

Former LCWFC chairman Rohan Morgan will become an adviser to an LCFC Women’s Football Leadership Group, led by chief executive Susan Whelan.

Russ Fraser has been appointed head of women’s football. Russ was earlier associated with West Ham United and Reading. Russ will manage football operations for LCFC Women and, together with the LCFC Women’s Football Leadership Group, will develop a strategy to build interest in the women’s game locally, encourage participation, and synchronise the work of the LCWFC Academy and the Leicester City Girls’ Regional Talent Club.

Leicester City chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said: “This is really a proud day. The introduction of a women’s team embedded within the club has been an ambition of ours for some time and today it can start to be realised.

“The club’s cooperation with LCWFC since 2004 has been a valuable gateway to the women’s game. Its chairman, Rohan Morgan, and its staff and players deserve great credit for the solid foundations they have built and we’re really excited to see how we can progress with the setup in-house.

“Exactly 10 years on from King Power first arriving in Leicester, this is a significant expansion in our vision for the Club – both in terms of diversification and our dedication to football for all; and in our ongoing commitment to excellence in every one of the Club’s pursuits,” Aiyawatt said.

LCFC Women’s 23-player squad for the 2020-21 FAWC campaign, which starts on the weekend of September 5-6, is complete, the club said. This includes 12 players from LCWFC signing their first professional contracts, joined by 11 new additions recruited from both FA Women’s Super League and FAWC clubs.

The team will continue to play its home matches at Farley Way Stadium in Quorn during the 2020-21 season, including their pending FA Women’s Cup quarter-final with holders Manchester City, the club said.

The tie is among those to be played in the early weeks of the new season to ensure the 2019-20 FA Women’s Cup is concluded.

The Foxes are the only FAWC team left in the competition, which is due to resume on the weekend of September 26-27.

Published : August 26, 2020