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SAINTS have announced that their Women’s programme will turn full-time after they achieved promotion to the second tier of English football.
After a successful season that saw Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side lift the FAW National League South title and the League Cup, Saints ensured promotion by beating Northern champions Wolverhampton Wanderers in a play-off.
As such, Saints will now ply their trade in the Championship – as a full-time outfit. The Women’s side had previously operated on a part-time basis, as is common amongst side in the third tier.
Whilst some sides such as Watford are part-time in the Championship, there are far more sides with professional squads.
Players will now be provided with multi-disciplinary support at Saints’ Staplewood training base, with the squad also able to make full use of the facilities on offer.
Speaking about the decision to move from part-time to full-time, Director of Football Operations Matt Crocker told Saints’ website: “This is another exciting step for our Women’s programme, in what has been a hugely successful campaign on and off the pitch.
“As a club we wanted to make sure our Women’s team are in the best possible position for their first season in Tier Two and moving to a professional full-time programme fully integrated at Staplewood supports our ambitious plans for continued success and development in the Women’s game.
“We want to thank everyone at the Club who dedicated their time and effort into getting the application process over the line and ensuring the next step for our Women’s team is given the best chance possible of being a success.”
Named as the league’s Manager of the Year for leading Saints to two trophies, Marieanne Spacey-Cale believes the move to professional status will strengthen her sides’ chances in the Championship next season.
She told the club’s website: “The change in status for Southampton FC Women from part-time to full-time is an exciting one,”
“We are aware of the challenge moving into the Championship will bring on the pitch, so having quality time with the squad based at Staplewood will support this transition and give us a good chance to settle into the league.
“The Club are extremely supportive of this transition into full-time and have been all in getting the application process and the detail right to ensure this can happen for season 2022-23 in the Women’s Championship.”
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