News has just broken that Lincoln City will once again have a women’s team next season.
From 1st June 2019, the current Nettleham Ladies FC team will become Lincoln City women, seeing a branded team representing Lincoln City for the first time in 2013.
The original Lincoln City Ladies formed in 1997 and climbed the ranks of the Women’s division, reaching an FA Cup semi-final in 2008. They played their home games at Ashby Avenue, but often struggled to get the credit they deserved in the city.
The women’s game has developed immensely and finally, after six years without a women’s side, The Imps are back in business. The ‘new’ side will simply be a rebranding of the current Nettleham side, who play in the fourth tier of the women’s game. Under the stewardship of Chris Hamilton, they earned promotion from the East Midland’s Division last season after reaching the second round of the FA Cup.
However, Chris left in the summer to take over at Barnsley, with former Imp Richard Cooper replacing him at Nettleham. As it’s a rebranding, the current coaching staff, players and committee will continue their excellent work and keep the side on the right track.
Nettleham Ladies currently play against the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion in the FA Women’s National League Division 1 Midlands League. In their first season at the higher level they’ve acquitted themselves well, currently laying in seventh place in an eleven team league. They’ve amassed 24 points, five clear of the team below them and a whopping 21 clear of the bottom two.
Roger Bates, is delighted at the latest development, saying; “As a board at the Football Club, we had it in mind that we might look at introducing a women’s team at some point. Richard approached to see if we could help by allowing them to become Lincoln City Women. Bringing women’s football to Lincoln City was something that was in our minds for the future, but suddenly as a result of the conversations with Richard and Nettleham it quickly came to the forefront of our thinking.
“The board were very quick to acknowledge it was a good thing to do, we have a significant female supporter base and we’re proud to have such a high percentage of women amongst our supporters. Women’s football continues to go from strength to strength and we felt it was something that ought to be part of our club.
The future manager of Lincoln City Women and current boss of Nettleham Ladies Richard Cooper said; “We raised the potential for a closer link with Lincoln City FC back in October last year and the prospect of a name change.
“It is imperative that the excellent work and achievements by all concerned behind the scenes were recognised and loyalty shown for getting the team to where it is now. The team is overseen and operated by a passionate group of individuals that are fully supportive of the team flourishing as Lincoln City Women FC.
“This came about due to the progress of the team into the FA Women’s National League Division 1 Midlands. For the team to focus on promotion in the near future we had to consider match day facilities that would meet certain ground regulations, that we currently can’t achieve. It was felt that it would be a shame if this held back the development and progress of the leading women’s team in Lincolnshire and so plans were discussed for the prospect of a Lincoln City Women’s team.
“This is a fantastic development for female football in Lincoln and the wider community, which will further create opportunities for women and girls to become involved with the team and Lincoln City Football Club.”
The team will follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, by making a home at Ashby Avenue. Their chairman Rob Bradley is also happy to be involved in further links between City and United.
“We are pleased to work with the Imps in several areas already and being able to help in terms of a providing a venue for the women’s team hopefully cements that working relationship even more.
“The growth of women’s football is a phenomenon and Lincoln United are delighted to play a small but significant part in helping that happen in the city. The fact that the team we’ll be hosting is a Lincoln City one is all the more reason to help.”
From a personal point of view, I’m delighted. It’ll mean we will open our coverage to the women’s side too, adding a dimension to our site. It also follows on from last season when I had a lot to do with Chris and the Nettleham side. There’s some cracking players in their ranks, Olivia Clark has represented Wales, Abbie Murrell is a proven scorer and Katy Thornley always impressed with her driving runs, as did Tia Johnson.
This is a great move by both Nettleham and Lincoln City to further enhance the appeal of the women’s game in Lincoln.