Arsenal Ladies FC were formed in 1987 by the women's present General Manager and Men's present kit manager; Vic Akers.
In their 21 year history, 29 major trophies have been won, including 1 Women’s UEFA Cup, 3 domestic Trebles, 10 Premier League Titles, 9 National League Cups and 9 FA Cups, proving that the Ladies team really are the present dominant force in their domestic game.
Arsenal Ladies FC have excellent backing and support from Arsenal Football Club and Clare Wheatley, assisted by Ciara Grant and Faye White, are employed by Arsenal FC solely to develop and co-ordinate the female side of the club. A further 3 senior players also work at the Academy overseeing the youth development of the club.
In the 2006/07 season the Ladies recorded their best ever achievement when they secured the historic Quadruple in their 20th year, making them the first British team to win the UEFA Women’s Cup after they beat Swedish side UMEA who were ranked the best in Europe 1-0 over the two legs.
Last season they followed it up by retaining their Championship crown by successfully defending their league title for a record fifth successive year taking it to seven wins in the last eight years.
They won the FA Cup, taking their tally in that competition to a record nine times, going one better than eight time winners Southampton Saints. However their grasp on the League Cup loosened as they were defeated by Everton LFC.
However this year they will continue to represent England as the Champions in the UFEA Cup for the sixth time in seven years.
The Reserve team is mainly made up from the girls in the Arsenal Youth Academy, which continues to prosper. The Academy is run under the guidance of first team player Kelly Smith and this years newly appointed first team assistant coach Tony Gervaise. First team players Jayne Ludlow and Emma Byrne also joined the Academy as full time staff.
The Arsenal Ladies academy enables players aged between 16 and 19 to combine daily football coaching with academic study. Last season the Reserves ended up runners up in the league and won the Reserves League Cup defeating Chelsea in the Final.
The Ladies Centre of Excellence continues to prosper with each year and the U16’s triumphed in what is an extremely competition league just pipping Leyton Orient to the top spot. This season the Centre of Excellence has a newly appointed Director in John Bayer.
History: Birmingham City Ladies FC was formed in 1968 by a group of girl supporters. Friendly games were played locally up until 1970. The late John Lines played an influential part in those early days and the club thanks him and all the players.
In 1970 the Heart of England League was formed. Blues remained in this league until 1973 and due to the restructuring of the league/s later became known as the West Midland Regional League formed in 1974. During this period Birmingham City Ladies won numerous league titles and cups notably in the Seventies and Eighties. To this date Blues remain the only West Midlands team to have reached the WFA Cup semi finals. (73/74 and 87/88 season.)
Grassroots - New Era
In the early nineties Birmingham City Ladies experienced difficult times, moral and confidence was low. It was decided to introduce an Academy for junior teams to become an extension of the club. It would act as a support function in strengthening and creating from within the club`s structure. During this transition period, new and experienced staff members were added to the club structure, and their contribution, experience and skills were instrumental in turning the club around.
In 1998/99 Blues won promotion to the newly formed Combination League and at their first attempt won the league and gained automatic promotion into the National Northern Division. The club continued this fantastic run by winning promotion to the National League after only 2 seasons.
The hard work behind the youth policy started to come to fruition in the early 2000s. Birmingham City Ladies players started to be picked by the England selectors at U19 and U17 levels then Laura Bassett was the first Birmingham City Ladies player to gain full England honours. By 2003 a total of nine of the playing staff were England Internationals at some level, and at the 2003 European U19 Championships in Germany, Birmingham City Ladies provided one third of the squad, more than any other club.
In 2002 Charter Standard was obtained at Junior Level and in 2003 the Club became the first Club in Birmingham County FA to achieve Charter Club Standard at Adult level. The Club was voted FA Charter Standard Club of the Year in 2003.
In 2004 some of the biggest names in Women’s football were brought into the club and in the 2004/2005 season the Senior team finished fourth in the FA Women’s Premier League. Five Birmingham City Ladies players went on to represent England in the Euro 2005 competition with the highlight being Karen Carney’s last minute winner against Finland and her subsequent 10 minute personal interview on Match of the Day.
In 2005 the club’s junior teams joined the inaugural Centre of Excellence league in the Central Warwickshire area.
History: The Female Football Development Centre (the Female Academy) initiative was one of the UK’s first female academies that offered both football training and academic qualifications specifically for girls aged between 16-19 years old. As one of the elite colleges in the country with Charter Standard status, the Development Centre is the place to be for aspiring footballers in the women’s game.
Bristol Rovers Women’s Football Club was formed as a senior club in 1998 after girls, successively playing up to U16 level, became too old for these age groups. Filton College has been Rovers Women’s most influential partner in the last three seasons, and the change in title to Bristol Academy reflects the continued successful affiliation between the College and club.
History: Originally formed in 1969 as the Belle Vue Ladies by young women who were selling draw tickets on the terraces at Doncaster Rovers. They started out by playing local small-sided games but within a short period of time they found they were venturing outside of Doncaster, where the Belle Vue part of the name had no meaning. In 1971 they made their change of name and became Doncaster Belles!
After Championship success in the regional leagues (12 out of 13 in the Notts League and 2 from 2 in the North East League) in addition to many tournaments and Cup successes - the Belles became founder members of the National League in the 1991/92 season - where they completed the League and F.A. Cup double without conceding a game!
In the 7-year history of the National League set-up, Doncaster Belles completed the double once more and in this Championship have finished second four times and third twice.
Last season we finished sixth in the FA Premier League and won the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Cup. The Reserves finished fourth in the Reserve League, while all the junior sides performed well in the West Riding Girls league.
We have just finished a one year sponsorship arrangement with new Doncaster band Silverfall, We are actively searching for a replacement sponsor who will enable us to continue our development at senior level, following a very successful three years under previous sponsors Ben Bailey Homes. Similarly our juniors have secured sponsorship from D.F.S and StoneAcre Chevrolet, which will enable our seven junior teams to compete in the Sheffield and Hallamshire Girls League.
Our junior section having gained Charity status has been the driving force behind progressing charity status for the open age section of our club. We are presently working towards gaining Charter standard.
We worked along side Doncaster Rovers, Doncaster Lakers Rugby Club and Doncaster Council on the development of the new community stadium now used by all three clubs. The new stadium was completed on schedule and within budget in December 2006. This now provides us with a permanent base, the opening home game of the 2008-2009 season being on Pitch 2 against Bristol Academy. We are the only Premier League club to have opportunity’s to play matches in a brand new 15,000-seated community stadium.
The Club continues to have positive links with Balby Carr Sports College to host an academy for girls in the 16-19 age groups. This offers academic studies as well as football training and is intended to produce future qualified coaches to serve the local community and help produce future generations of ‘Belles’ - but more importantly, it will allow greater access to football for girls in Doncaster!
Overall the club continues to grow, keeping pace with the significant growth in women's football and maintaining our position as one of the major forces in the glorious game, further claiming that Doncaster Rovers Belles is the home of women’s football.
History: The club started life as began life as Hoylake WFC in 1983. They merged with Dolphins YC to become Leasowe, adding Pacific to their title in a sponsorship deal. In 1987/88 they came to l prominence winning the North-West League and reaching the 1988 FA Women's Cup final, losing to Doncaster Belles 3-2. However they were back the following year and this time they beat Fulham, this time on the right end of a 3-2 scoreline. By 1991/92 they had won their regional league five years running, and when a regular national competition started the next season they were admitted to division one north and promptly finished top to join the FA Women's Premier League.
In 1995 the club became known as Everton Ladies and continued to make their mark. In 1997 they reached the final of the Premier League Cup only to lose to Millwall Lionesses 1-2. The following year, however, Everton Ladies were crowned National Premier League Champions which is their biggest success to date.
In 1999 the club again lost in the League Cup final, 1-3 to Arsenal Ladies, and in 2005 reached the FA Women's Cup final only to lose 0-1 to Charlton Athletic after a disappointing display. Still, revenge of sorts came two years later when Everton pipped Charlton to second place in the Premier League, which as champions Arsenal had already won the European Cup meant a European debut for the Toffees in 2007/08.
The ladies' first foray into UEFA competition was to end in disappointment however. Despite beating Valur Reykjavík 3-1 in their final group game, Everton only finished third and failed to progress into the Quarter-finals amidst much controversy
History: The club was originally called Newton Ladies, though this had become Knowsley WFC by the time they entered the first National League in 1991.
They ended the inaugural season in fourth and, strengthened by the arrival of several England internationals, the team went to Wembley in 1993, losing to Arsenal in the League Cup final.
In 1994-95 the club was revolutionised, coming under the LFC banner for the first time and receiving full financial support from Anfield.
It was quite a first year for the newly established Liverpool FC Ladies. Not only were they runners-up in the league - still their highest ever finish - they also reached the FA Cup final, losing 3-2 to Arsenal.
More cup final heartache followed in 1995-96 when the Reds lost to Croydon on penalties.
Unfortunately the club failed to capitalise on their success and, after several mid-table finishes, were relegated to the Premier League Northern Division in 2001.
The introduction of youth and reserve level sides helped put the ladies back on track, however, and in 2003-04 they bounced back into the top flight after an entire season unbeaten.
The icing on the cake came with victory over Everton in the first ever Liverpool County Cup final. To celebrate, the girls embarked on a summer tour of Singapore.
It all boded well for the campaign to come, though it soon became clear that LFC Ladies still had work to do if they were to re-establish themselves as one of English football's elite. Just two wins in 18 games meant they were back in the North Division.
Relegation spelt the end for manager John Williams after three years at the helm.
Keith Cliffe was the man to take charge and the Reds set out on the 2005-06 season with renewed optimism. A second place finish behind unbeaten Blackburn ensured a play off against Chelsea, who came second bottom in the National Division. Sadly, after a 1-1 draw at home, they were beaten 3-0 in London.
Still, the new regime promised much, and in 2006-07 it delivered as LFC Ladies won the Northern Division. It came after a run of 12 wins from 13 matches to overturn Lincoln City's seemingly impregnable lead at the top.
After leading the club back into the Premier League, Cliffe decided to call it a day, handing over the reins to David Bradley.
On taking over, Bradley pledged: "No one is more obsessed with moving this club forward than me. I see the players as the most important part of the club and I want them to feel that way”.
History: OOH Lincoln Ladies (formally Lincoln City Ladies) was formed in 1995 out of an initial Lincoln Ladies trial team by Steward Donnelly, and such has been the success, there are now six teams; U-14's, U-15's, U-16's, under 18's, Reserves and 1st Team with plans to increase this to 8 teams next season. (Lincoln City Girls School of Excellence run four teams completely separately to OOH.) The four younger teams are managed through the OOH Lincoln Youth Charity (applied for) by Sam Willett & Ron Morris.
In 1995 the Ladies started playing in the Unison East Midlands League and apart from one season, gained promotion each year until reaching the Northern Premier League in 2002 led by the long standing Manager Glen Harris. In the 2004 Rod Wilson took over from Glen and steered the 'Lady Imps' to 4th in the league, the highest position ever reached until then - and in 2006/2007 and they finished in an incredible second place, just five points behind Liverpool. The following season 07/08 the Ladies led the table all season, losing only 3 games along the way, only to be piped to the title by Nottingham Forest on the last day of the season. The girls also reached the FA Cup semi final going down to record breaking Arsenal in front of a crowd of 3000 at Sincal Bank. Lincoln City Ladies have attracted regular support to games played at Sincil Bank Stadium and Collingham, seeing over 1,500 spectators attend high profile encounters. The Club have played at various grounds including Lee Rd, Moorlands and Collingham. They played one season 20002/3 at Sincal Bank becoming the first women's side to play a full season at a Professional League ground.
The Club has won the Lincs County Cup on 5 occasions. The team have great local press coverage and have gained the regular support of Lincoln's MP Gillian Merron and several former Mayors of Lincoln. The Club has won the FA Media award on three occasions with the awards being shared with Echo writers, Geoff Adams ( LadyImps Chairman 06 onwards), Mel Burton and Mark Whitely As support from Lincoln City FC dried up, it became apparent that the Club would have to financially stand on its own feet. Fantastic Sponsorship from Lincoln Coop & Sports TV and others kept the team afloat for five years until it was decided in 2008 that as the only thing a team like ours has to sell is its name and therefore we accepted an offer from OOH Media PLC and became OOH Lincoln Ladies. The Club also gained Charter Standard status. Signings with national experience have fitted effortlessly into predominately a home-grown outfit the team, bringing with them knowledge and experience of the women's game. Lincoln have developed several England trialists and youth players over the seasons including Ellie Gilliatt, Jade Moore, Nic Hobbs and Katie Holtham, and we continue to strengthen the side at any opportunity with players such as England Goalkeeper Kay Hawke and ex-Blackburn defender/midfielder Mel Cook. This season we are challenging for higher status in the Northern Premiership and to gain National Division status.
The Future: The Club are exploring the opportunities of building their own stadium and sports complex and therefore be the first Ladies team in England to own their ground As a true Community Club OOH are also open to bring other community activities and teams under the OOH banner. The Club already runs Girls Grass Roots schemes and coaches young players in and out of school. Shortly we hope to open an Academy with Lincoln University to enable young female athletes to study while being coached on a full time basis.