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Women's Football News
The Wolves women's team are celebrating officially becoming part of the Molineux set-up and starting an innovative link up with Wolverhampton College.
With the financial backing and marketing support of Wolverhamton Wanderers FC, added to new facilities due to be completed at the college's Bilston campus next year, a new era is dawning for the women's team, according to the team's chairperson Jenny Wilkes.
BBC WM presenter Wilkes, who last year saw Wolves relegated from the Premier League, said, "Being taken under the wing of the men's club is a massive step forward for us.
"Finances are a problem for most women's teams and we've struggled in the past, but that should be behind us now and we'll be looking to not only win our place back in the Premier League but also to expand as a club.
"The men's club already runs our FA Centre of Excellence, which caters for eight to 16 year-olds, but our new partnership with Wolverhampton College means we will be able to start an Academy for older girls next year.
"There's also a third generation artificial turf pitch being built at the college for our use, so we will have all the facilities we need to improve the club at senior level and help promote and develop girls' and women's football throughout the Wolverhampton area."
The women's team will become part of Wolves' Community Scheme and the club's Head of Communications, Matt Grayson, said: "We have seen the rapid development of the women's game and feel that this is a logical move for everyone concerned.
"The women's team will become integrated within our club and we will give them whatever support we can to help them achieve their aims."
Grayson also revealed that work has already started on helping the women's club's marketing efforts. "We are in discussion with a couple of potential sponsors and there is definite interest," he said.
With a more solid financial base, Wilkes is hoping to attract new players rather than seeing the club's star names move to top Premier League clubs. England internationals Rachel Unitt and Emily Westwood are now with Everton, while Northern Ireland striker Amy McCann and England Under-21 striker Becky Hall have both switched to Birmingham City in the last 12 months.
Wilkes said: "Losing our best players has cost us in recent years, but hopefully we can now become a more attractive club to play for and we can strengthen the squad to help us mount a successful bid for promotion next season." (Tony Leighton)
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