Sunday 10 September 2017

NEWS: Wildcats Win Club of the Year!

Durham Women were delighted and honoured to be awarded the FA WSL 2 Club of the Year Award at the 2017 FA Women’s Football Awards.

The awards, held at the Grosvenor Hotel on Park Lane, celebrated the best of women’s football in England after a year which saw the game grow both domestically and internationally.

And after enjoying a strong FA WSL Spring Series both on and off the pitch Durham Women were handed the FA WSL 2 Club of the Year prize.

It signifies just how far the club have progressed in the last decade - having started life as a grassroots club to eventually forming Durham Women FC with Team Durham (Durham University) the Wildcats now have three senior sides and an FA Girls’ Regional Talent Club alongside thriving work in the local community. Coupled with the successful BUCS programme which supports both football and futsal, the club continues to grow on all levels.

The Club of the Year award takes into account all aspects of the football club from on the pitch performance to coaching, player pathways, community work, partnerships, marketing and attendances.

Our 5th place finish in the Spring Series was accompanied by an attendance rise of 23% with three crowds of over 500, while we also became the first FA WSL 2 club to live stream a game on Facebook when we took on London Bees.

Furthermore, our partnerships with Durham Sixth Form Centre (FE) and Durham University (HE) continued to flourish and allow us to offer players the chance to further their education whilst playing football at an elite level.

The support of Vision for Education and JW Wood Estate Agents also can’t be underestimated, with our mutually-beneficial partnerships allowing us to increase our presence in the local community.

This all emphasises just how exciting a time it is for Durham Women, with the Club of the Year award topping it off.

General Manager Lee Sanders was obviously delighted upon hearing the club had won and had the following to say: "The news came as a bit of a shock as we had absolutely no idea we were receiving the award - a nice shock though! This is the culmination of years of hard work from many people on and off the pitch, from parents and players in the beginning as a grassroots club to the unwavering support from key partners since we became a part of the FA WSL, in particular Team Durham and Quentin Sloper who has shown unwavering support of what we are trying to achieve.

"The sponsors who have been with us from day one JW Wood, and I must thank Liam from Vision for Educatoon for the ongoing support and enthusiasm he gives to the club.

"The coaches, physio, medical staff and players and fans have been fantastic in buying into where the club wants to be with ever improving performances on the pitch and rapidly growing attendances at games. All this contributes to this award.

"The volunteers who we've had to make the game days work and the match day experiences pleasant for both home and away supporters also deserve a huge amount of credit.

"For me though, the award should be going to Dawn (Hepple, Club Secretay) and Mark (Donnelly, Marketing Officer) who, in Dawn's case, has been with the club since day one. The finance, welfare of the players and match days have been and continue to be why we are a well ran club and business. She puts in endless hours and IS this club. Mark, who has joined us in more recent years, isn't just a marketing officer, he's innovative, hard working and passionate about our club and the past few seasons wouldn't have been as successful without him."

The FA WSL 2 Club of the Year Award will be officially presented to Durham Women ahead of our opening FA WSL game of the season against Tottenham Hotspur on 24th September.