OXFORD United are putting together a bid to join the Women’s Super League (WSL) when it expands next year, writes DAVID PRITCHARD.
The summer league, which contains eight teams, will incorporate a second division from 2014.
The ladies side, who play matches at United’s Roman Way training ground, are top of the South West Combination.
Promotion would take them into the second tier of women’s football, which would help their application to join the WSL.
Richard Blackmore, United’s youth and community trust manager, said: “We’re really excited about the WSL and will give it a massive push.
“There are a lot of criteria to meet, but we’re talking to a couple of local clubs at the moment because the league say you have to play in a stadium – the type of facility at Thame United, Oxford City, Abingdon United.
“We’re already putting everything in place and if we don’t achieve it this time around we’ll push for the next time.”
The WSL would be a step up for United’s ladies, but although it would see the team become semi-professional, the club would only have to cover expenses.
While there are no guarantees about the success of an application, the ladies’ reserve side looks set to play at a higher level from next season.
They have been unable to play higher than a regional level, but have now been invited to join the reserve league of the Women’s Premier League.
It means they will come up against the likes of Tottenham, QPR and Reading in Division Two.