Sheffield United: Blades take a big step in development of women’s football side

Carla Ward holds Jessie Adams - photo Julian Barker
Carla Ward holds Jessie Adams - photo Julian Barker
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Sheffield United have submitted an application to become members of the new FA Women’s Championship as the governing body presses ahead with its restructuring of the elite ladies’ game.

If successful, the move would see Carla Ward’s side rise two division’s up the pyramid after being promoted to the Premier League Midlands Division this term.

United must fulfil a number of criteria, including pledges to increase coaching time and improve facilities for players, officials and supporters, in order to be granted membership of the competition.

As The Star reported last year, there is a commitment to move their home fixtures from the Steelphalt Academy to the Olympic Legacy Park.

Carl Shieber, United’s head of football administration, said: “We have tabled our application, a bid that shows that Sheffield United are serious about competing at the highest level of the women’s game.

“We must stress that this is only the start. This is the first step on the journey.”

Blades chief operating officer Andrew Birks added: “As a club we have never hidden the fact that we wanted the Ladies playing at the highest possible level. Since bringing the Ladies and RTC in-house, we have mirrored the Academy and men’s teams in how we have run with everyone under one umbrella.

“The level of professionalism and how far we have come in a short space of time is a credit to everyone associated with Sheffield United. We are all working towards the same goal…that is our Ladies team being a force in women’s football.

“With 25 per cent, and growing, of our fan base being female, we are committed to the development of Ladies football within our family club.”