It is with great disappointment that the club has learnt of the decision of the current senior Workington Reds Ladies team to move away from the Workington AFC brand and work more independently from the start of the 2024/25 season.
Whilst never operating under the full control of the club it is a part of our brand that we are immensely proud of and we have done everything within our control to maintain and improve the links between the two parties. We wish them every success going forward.
Workington AFC would therefore like to announce some major changes to the way it delivers Ladies and Girls football from the start of the 24/25 season.
With continued development and increasing profile in the female game it is important that the club continues to develop its policies to align with our ethos of “Football for All.”
A new 5-year plan has been drawn up with the intention of providing the best coaching, development, facilities and all-round football environment for the growing numbers of female players in West Cumbria enabling them to advance within the Ladies football pyramid and offering the opportunity to reach the same status as the men’s side at the club.
There will be significant hurdles to overcome and financial investment needed in order for us to achieve our goals, but the Directors of Workington AFC understand now is the time for change and to review the club structure. Notably, a brand new Ladies team will be created fully under the umbrella of the parent club. Finance, administration and welfare will be handled in house and a dedicated team is already in place to do this.
With that in mind we will be looking to appoint a new Ladies Development Officer/Head Coach as soon as possible. The right candidate will coordinate the development of our pathway with the initial emphasis on the transition from youth to adult football whilst maintaining participation.
It is intended that the Ladies and Girls will also have for the first time a direct representative on the Board of Directors.
An open event will be announced soon where interested players, coaches, parents as well as supporters and volunteers can come along and find out more. Full details to be released in due course. .
Turning to the Girls Junior ranks much of the provision is already in place through our Reds in the Community brand. However, reinforcement work is underway to ensure that players and parents have the best possible experience from the Foundation years right through to Under 16 level.
Through the efforts of RITC Girls lead James Telford there has been a new energy brought into the Girls Academy and the feel-good factor is really kicking in. New training plans have been initialised to ensure that the club’s footballing DNA is introduced to players at an early age, and we are looking to improve facility and training provision further going into the new season.
Younger age groups will still be given the opportunity of visiting Premier League and EFL clubs for games against their academies and experiencing those fantastic facilities.
Probably the most exciting news is that from the start of next season our under 14s and under 16s will enter the North West Girls Super League playing weekly competitive fixtures against quality opposition throughout the North West. This is a huge step for us as a club, to be able to provide the opportunity for young female players in Cumbria to play at a higher level every week, something we are immensely proud of.
Furthermore, we plan to add in regular weekly recreational football sessions offering a commitment free opportunity to players who just enjoy football for fun and fitness whatever their age or ability.
Our objective is to create a more professional approach to developing the female game in West Cumbria. We have a clear plan utilising the assets, skillset, and brand identity already at the club and by adding to that over time build a better future for female players throughout Cumbria going forward.