PNE women’s team have fresh start as Fylde Ladies

The new Fylde Ladies venture is launched
The new Fylde Ladies venture is launched
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AFC Fylde have ‘adopted’ Preston North End women’s football team, who are to be rebranded as Fylde Ladies for the 2016-17 season.

They will play their home matches at the Coasters’ new stadium at Mill Farm.

Last season the team finished runners-up in the FA Women’s Premier League and narrowly missed out on promotion to the Women’s Super League Two.

The announcement comes on the back of Springfield Hockey Club also joining forces with the Coasters club to become Fylde Hockey.

AFC Fylde chief executive David Chell said: “Ladies football is a fast-growing sport and we are delighted with this latest addition to the club.

“We have plenty to offer the team, not least a state-of-the-art stadium, the likes of which will be unparalleled in the women’s game.

“We are now looking forward to working with the team and helping them realise their ambitions.”

Luke Swindlehurst, ladies’ first team manager, said: “I’m delighted we have agreed to merge with such an ambitious club like AFC Fylde.

“This arrangement opens up an exciting future for women and girls’ football in the North West.

“We have had very positive discussions from the start and the most pleasing thing is that our ambitions are aligned.

“As a club we are fully committed to reaching the FA Women’s Super League and believe AFC Fylde have the resources and infrastructure to help us reach our goal.

“I’ve been very impressed with the attention to detail and quality that AFC Fylde have demonstrated within the men’s team.

“There are clear benefits for both of us on and off the field, not least of all the new stadium at Mill Farm, which will be a one of the best playing facilities within the women’s game.

“We want supporters to come and enjoy the whole AFC Fylde experience.

“I’m extremely excited about this new chapter for us at AFC Fylde.

“It will allow our standards to be pushed on to the next level.

“We have been given the green light from the FA, Lancashire county FA and FA Women’s Premier League and they were fully supportive of the changes.

“We are ambitious and driven to make our new home Mill Farm a community hub and flagship for women and girls’ football.”

DANIEL AGNEW