Brighouse Town have marked their 50th year of existence by adding a Ladies team to the club.
They were previously known as Kirklees Ladies, who were formed in 1993, and are now re-established as Brighouse Town Ladies FC.
The Ladies join the first team, development side and an Under 18 FA Youth Cup squad and play in the North East Regional Women’s Division South.
Manager Rob Mitchell, who coaches with the men’s first team, has enjoyed a solid start to the season by picking up seven points from three games with the Ladies – their latest win being 6-1 over Handsworth with goals from Sonni Sweeney, Olivia Dangerfield, Rachael White and a hat trick from Chloe Roberts.
Mitchell is pleased with the start but is keeping his feet firmly grounded and admits there is a lot of work ahead.
He said: “We have started well but are very much taking it one game at a time.
“We have a strong squad and we will be working hard to achieve our long-term goals of moving up the football pyramid.
“We have received great support from everyone involved with Brighouse Town, who have made the transition a smooth and enjoyable one.
“We have also had a few of the supporters attend our games and I’ve heard nothing but kind words and praise for the way we play.
“A lot of people still aren’t sure about the women’s game but I can assure them the standard of football and the technical ability on show is of a high order.”
He acknowledges a strong community link is vital to aid the development of the Ladies team, who are sponsored by Co-op (kit), Calderdale College and Clock Cars (tracksuits), all supplied by O’Neills Sports of Huddersfield.
“We are working really hard at Brighouse to create a real community feel, holding regular junior football tournaments which have been a huge success as well as our very own Football Camps during the holidays in partnership with Sport Camps,” added Mitchell.
“We have a partnership with Calderdale College, who are our official educational partner and provide us with good-quality players.
“We are looking at the possibility of adding a ladies development team ourselves to offer more opportunities to girls to get involved in football.
“Lots of people work very hard behind the scenes, and without them we wouldn’t be able to run the side.
“The Ladies themselves do a lot of fundraising to help generate the money needed to get through the season, we are always looking for sponsorship and have several options available for both the men and the women, who we hope can build more local links to ensure we continue to grow as a club.”
Next up for Brighouse is a tie against CMB Ladies of the Lancashire County Women’s League in the Women’s FA Cup on Sunday at the Dual Seal Stadium (2pm).
The Ladies are looking for a goalkeeper and anyone interested should contact Mitchell on 07449 342651 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Brighouse Town men’s first team are still in the FA Cup and are the only Northern Counties side left in the competition.
“Paul Quinn has done a tremendous job and, along with the squad available for selection, has high hopes for the long season ahead,” added Mitchell.
And the men won their Northern Counties East League Premier Division clash at home to Pickering Town on Tuesday 3-2 with an opener from Tom Mathews and two goals from Ryan Hall.