Brighton and Hove Albion have spelt out their women’s football strategy “Pathway towards top 4”.
It sets out objectives to grow further women’s and girls’ football at the club over the next few years.
Part of the overall vision is to be a top four club in the Women’s Super League, the club said.
There are six pillars – player pathway, recruitment, performance and coaching, medical, wellbeing and marketing and communications.
These form the cornerstone of the strategy which the club said would be developed over the next two years to build an elite culture and get closer to the top four vision becoming a reality.
One of the main objectives is further strengthening the links between the women’s and girls’ sections and working collaboratively across the club to integrate operations.
Setting out the strategy, Michelle Walder, director and chair of the women’s board, said: “It’s been an absorbing process to be part of, involving lots of consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, both within the club and externally, and the next two years promise to be an exciting journey for all involved.”
Chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber said: “The strategy document sets out our objectives and overall vision and we’re looking forward to the opportunities it presents in the next two years.
“Having a team in the top four of the Women’s Super League is an important part of the club’s overall vision. We have achieved a lot in the last few years with promotion to the WSL and the development of our new £8 millon training complex at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, and we’re looking forward to the next chapter in the team’s professionalisation.”
The club said that the strategy covered player recruitment and helping players prepare for dual careers. It also focuses on developing home-grown players who can compete in the WSL, increasing attendances and engaging with the club’s target audience.
One of the main objectives is to explore options for a long-term home for the women’s first team that is closer to Brighton and Hove.
Another aim is to strengthen further the links between the women’s and girls’ sections and working collaboratively across the club to integrate operations.
Under the six pillars of the strategy are five “enablers” covering facilities, operations and stakeholders, commercial, people and culture and budget.
Beverly Sawyers, senior vice president for international operational excellence at American Express, said: “Sponsorship of, and support for, the Brighton Women’s team is a key aspect of our longstanding partnership with Brighton and Hove Albion and one we are passionate about.
“We have been impressed seeing the development of women’s and girls’ football at the club in recent years. The club is now firmly established in the Women’s Super League and have ambitions to be in the top four.
“We are delighted to support this strategy and look forward to seeing the continued growth and evolution in the coming years.”
Kelly Simmons, the FA’s director of the women’s professional game, said: “Brighton have made so much progress in recent years on and off the pitch and this comprehensive strategy will build on the excellent foundations they already have in place for women’s and girls’ football.
“We’re excited and intrigued to see how they will achieve their objectives and build a women’s and girls’ section they can be proud of and which sets the standard for other clubs to try to emulate.”
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