Why Rugby is the answer for relegated Coventry United women

Why Rugby is the answer for relegated Coventry United women

Coventry United’s girls are to relocate round 15 miles to the neighbouring city of Rugby and rebrand as Rugby Borough FC as they bid to bounce again following their relegation from the Ladies’s Championship.

The membership says the transfer offers them “a spot to name residence” and they’re going to play at Rugby Borough’s £2.5 million facility at Kilsby Lane simply to the east of the Warwickshire market city, Telegraph Sport can reveal.

Coventry, who reached the fifth spherical of the Ladies’s FA Cup this time period however endured a poor league marketing campaign and completed 11 factors adrift of second-bottom Sunderland, beforehand performed their residence matches at Butts Park Area, which is the house of Coventry Rugby. Nevertheless, they’ve been travelling to Rugby Borough for coaching classes prior to now two seasons.

Chairman Lewis Taylor, who rescued the membership from the brink of liquidation in January 2021 by shopping for the membership, believes the normal “one-club” really feel of the town in direction of Coventry Metropolis made it exhausting for locals to embrace Coventry United. 

‘Now we’ve obtained someplace to name residence’

“We by no means actually belonged in Coventry,” he mentioned. “They see themselves as a one-club metropolis and I utterly perceive that. We had been at all times type of taking part in second fiddle earlier than [at Butts Park Arena], making an attempt to slot in the place we may in a facility that’s not equipped for soccer, however as quickly as you undergo the gates at Rugby Borough you’re feeling such as you’re in a correct soccer place.

“What I’d say to reassure all of the followers is that we’re doing this for longevity within the membership. We had been by no means assured everlasting residency beforehand, so we might have needed to persistently renegotiate our phrases.”

“We’re very grateful for the followers that did come out to see us [in Coventry] but when there’s a type of feeling of ‘we’re taking away the membership from Coventry’, my level can be, we didn’t actually see these folks on match days [in huge numbers]. We’re nonetheless going to maintain working locally inside Coventry and Rugby, so we see it as a possibility to forged our internet far and extensive, and now we’ve obtained someplace to name residence.”

Rugby Borough FC will compete within the third tier of the English girls’s pyramid, on the similar degree as a bunch of males’s Premier League-backed sides. Jack Heaselden, Coventry United’s common supervisor, advised Telegraph Sport: “The goal is to hopefully solely be in tier three for one yr. ”

“We would like not solely a Championship mentality however really a WSL [Women’s Super League] mentality. We’re going to offer issues that we don’t essentially want to offer by the rules, so giving the ladies entry to prime medical provision and participant homes – we’re not seeing it [relegation] as a possibility to simply do the naked minimal.”

“Rugby Borough is a unbelievable facility, there are quite a lot of golf equipment even greater up that haven’t obtained entry to this type of facility, and there are plans in place to increase it and provides us our personal constructing and health club, so it’s going to turn into an actual hub for the membership.”

‘It can put us on the map’

Based in 1994 and after successful promotion in April, Rugby Borough’s males’s staff will play in step 5 of the non-league system subsequent time period. Their women’ set-up was shaped 5 years in the past and contains 200 taking part in members from ages 4 to 18. They share the 35-acre website with the lads’s staff.

Rugby Borough girls’s and women’ chair Theresa Blandford mentioned of the merger: “It can put us extra on the map, assist us develop our fanbase and provides us extra alternative to develop our facility even additional. We’re actually happy to have them come on board. We’ve obtained an enormous women’ part, and now the ladies can see the development to senior degree.”

Subsequent time period, sides backed by males’s Premier League sides Burnley, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers will compete within the Northern Premier Division of the Ladies’s Nationwide League, while within the Southern area, Rugby Borough will be a part of promotion-chasing Ipswich City, Oxford United and Portsmouth. From subsequent time period, two groups shall be promoted from tier three to the Championship, one from the North and one from the South.


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