Oxford United will play in the third tier of the newly structured women’s pyramid next season.

The U's were informed this week they have not been given a place in the new WSL2 - where they finished eighth in the last campaign - but were instead offered a spot in the league below by the Football Association.

And the club have today confirmed they will accept being moved into the new division.

Managing Director Niall McWilliams said: “We got everyone together to talk through all of the options and permutations.

"We wanted to make sure that we did the right thing not just for Oxford United but also for the women’s game across Oxfordshire.

“We have a responsibility to continue to be a leading example for elite female sport within the county.

"Over the years our players have become such role models for girls looking to find a way to play football.

"We have to be realistic - some players will leave us this summer to continue their careers in the higher leagues.

"We needed to make sure we could compete at the right level, and we are confident we can do that."

He added: “Perhaps more importantly we need to restructure behind the scenes.

"A new manager is high on the list after Andy Cook’s departure and for the first time ever Oxford United will create a women’s board to oversee all aspects of the female pathway from the RTC to the first team.

“Both Tiger (owner Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth) and Darryl Eales have been hugely supportive of the Women’s team and we see this as a new start and a very exciting opportunity.

"There is so much positivity around the Women’s side and we have to get the structure right at all levels.

"Oxford United are committed to growing Women’s football in this country and we look forward to the challenge of playing in the FA Women’s National League next season.”