Cambridge Women’s Football Club are delighted to announce that they will be merging with Cambridge United Football Club with immediate effect. The link will see the club change its name to Cambridge United Women’s Football Club and operate with full assistance from CUFC as the two clubs join forces.
As part of the new, exciting link, the club will take on the CUFC badge and playing kit for the new season and have support in terms of funding, sponsorship, staffing and media promotion, as well as working together to help girl’s football in the area and having a bigger presence in the local community.
The club will continue to play in the FA Women’s Premier League South East Division One, where they finished in 7th place this season, and will look to improve on that for 2015/16.
The formation of the club will be marked with a special promotional launch match on Thursday 30th July, at the Abbey Stadium against Queens Park Rangers Ladies, more details will be announced at a later date.
The club will now be holding open trials, for any female players aged 16 or over who are interested in playing for the club. The trials will be held at Linton Community Sports Centre, Cambridge Road, Linton, CB21 4JB on 10th, 14th and 17th June. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for a trials form.
Prior to the announcement I had the opportunity to ask Cambridge WFC manager Steve Edwards a few questions about the merger of the two clubs and what the future offers not only Cambridge United Women but women's football in the wider community.
|Cambridge WFC manager Steve Edwards|
First of all Steve I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for letting me ask you some further questions on what is an exciting announcement for Cambridge WFC today.
Q. A merger with Cambridge United Football Club what does that mean for Cambridge WFC?
It’s a brilliant opportunity for this football club to move forward in women’s football while putting in place a more professional support structure to act as a platform from which to build. Cambridge United are growing from strength to strength in the men’s game and we have similar plans and ambitions for the women’s set up. It will mean we can work together and share expertise and resources and sends a real statement that we mean business.
Q. How did the merger come about in the 1st place who approached who?
There have been talks for some time now from both parties and it has been evident from the start that not only was this something that we at CWFC wanted, but Cambridge United were equally as keen to have a successful women’s team at the club. With the set-up that we already had in place, along with our big ambitions, it was a very natural progression to make this happen.
Q. Having a club such as Cambridge United involved now established back into the Football League after promotion from the Conference the season before offers huge potential to grow the women’s game not just within the club itself but to the wider game within Cambridgeshire itself what are the advantages to Cambridge WFC?
The link with Cambridge United is an important relationship for us to have as it will give us access to a number of benefits. Not only will we become an integrated part of a brand that’s identity continues to grow, by taking on the name, badge and kit, but we will gain further sponsorship and fundraising opportunities which will allow us to kick on as a club. With all this in place, plus more possibilities of facilities and staffing, the potential of the women’s team has rapidly increased. We are hoping that this will enable us to attract more players to this already strong club.
Q. The club will take on a new name becoming Cambridge United Women and with it a new badge and new playing strip big changes to make were these easy decisions to make from the clubs point of view?
Yes these were necessary changes to make and ones that we all agreed on. The merger ensures that the players will know they are a proper part of Cambridge United Football Club, the brand is instantly recognisable and continues to grow in the professional game. There will be an element of sadness to move away from our old identity which has served us well until now of course, but this is soon counter-acted by the excitement we are all feeling about becoming Cambridge United.
Q. Huge benefits in terms of helping to raise the clubs profile what do you hope the merger will offer the women’s side in the future?
The added exposure that this will inevitably give us not only in the media but in the Cambridgeshire community is really positive, and hopefully we will be able to gain a number of new supporters who already so passionately follow the men’s team. Women’s football can sometimes have a hard time getting heard in the media and getting the coverage it deserves, but this is improving all the time and I have no doubt that we will generate more interest in us now.
Q. How excited are you yourself with the merger? Know you’re passionate about the game and believe Cambridge WFC are a club on the verge of big things.
We are extremely excited for the future now and this merge was a key part of our plans going forward. It feels great to have now put this in place and we can really start planning for, not only the season ahead, but the mid-term and long-term futures. I do believe this club and this area has massive potential and should be competing nationally in the women’s game but you can’t put a superpower on the pitch without putting all the right things in place off the pitch. The hard work really starts now and there’s a long way to go, but as long as we keep moving in the right direction, we’re on schedule!
Q. What are your aims for next season now you have this merger with Cambridge United?
I am busy at the moment looking at player recruitment which will dominate my thoughts over the next few weeks, both from player targets and also open trials that have now been announced. Then attention will turn to pre-season where we will have an improved fitness schedule that ensures we are getting the squad in the right place fitness wise, which will be key come the start of the season. I won’t be setting the club any targets in terms of points or position, we will look to treat every game the same and as one that we want to win. If we are professional about everything we do and have a winning mentality, then points and positions look after themselves. Of course, we want to be competing at the right end of the table and winning trophies!
Q. I myself am passionate about seeing women’s football grow within the East of England think there is real potential out there. Do you think this merger offers Cambridge a chance to become one of the region’s forerunners?
We wanted to ensure the club didn’t stand still. Throughout the club’s history, decisions have been made at the time to ensure the club kept moving forward and this is another important milestone for the club. Personally I believe this will end up being the best move it has ever made. We want to be able to offer facilities, coaching, a style of football and a level of football that is the best in the region and I hope that the opportunity to be part of a huge club, will excite the best players in the area to want to join that vision.
A new era for the club begins with a special promotional launch at the Abbey Stadium on the 30th July against Queens Park Rangers Ladies, a club themselves that enjoy a good relationship with their men's side further details of the match to be released at a later date.