By Nancy Frostick
Notts County are forming a new women’s team and are looking for players for the 2018-19 season, one year after a previous women’s side linked to the club folded.
A twitter account, launched under the new name Notts County Women FC, became active on Sunday.
Although there has not yet been an official announcement from the club, the account’s tweets have been retweeted by Magpies chairman and owner Alan Hardy.
This included one announcing open trials for players to be held at Meadow Lane on Sunday (May 27), with more information expected in the coming days.
Lead Coach at Notts County Football In The Community, Adam Dunleavy, has also tweeted to say he will manage the new side.
The women’s team previously linked to the club, Notts County Ladies FC, reached the Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley in 2015 before folding on the eve of the FA Women’s Super League season in 2017.
Im delighted to announce I will be leading @NCFC_Women as manager next season. Having supported the club my entire life, the opportunity to do so is an incredible honour. The work going on at the club is phenomenal and I can’t wait to get stuck in #growth #development #COYP https://t.co/s2vJXiLP22
— Adam Dunleavy (@dunleavy_adam) May 20, 2018
After Hardy’s takeover of the League Two club in January 2017, the women’s team faced a court battle over debts.
It eventually folded in April 2017, initially leaving several international players without a club just months before the Women’s European Championships.
At the time, Hardy released a statement explaining the decision, saying: “I am devastated that we cannot continue the Ladies project but the numbers simply do not stack up; continuing would have been little short of financial suicide.”
He added at the time the previous set-up would have cost the club £500,000 for the new season, yet was projected to bring in just £28,000.
A girls’ elite performance centre has remained in place at the club since the senior team disbanded, with the new squad providing a full pathway from junior to senior levels.
Want to play for Notts County Women? Open trials begin next Sunday…
Where? Meadow Lane Stadium, first team pitch!
When? 930-1100 am
Don’t miss this incredibly exciting opportunity! 📣 Play for a Club at the heart of our community – one driven to support the female game pic.twitter.com/mSrEPV0zzp
— Notts County Women FC (@NCFC_Women) May 20, 2018
The announcement has received mixed responses from fans on social media, but the club account insists the new team will be run on a different financial model in an attempt to avoid its predecessor’s financial difficulties.
Responding to questions about the loss of the previous side, the new account tweeted on Sunday: “This is not a replacement of what the club were so very sad to lose, this is growth with solid foundation of a Girls/Women’s network that has ambition to provide elite facilities and opportunity. This is but a step in the journey… but it’s a journey to the FAWSL.”
It added: “The Chairman [Hardy] said that he would always launch a women’s team but only once there were foundations in place and a dedicated girls pathway.”