During 2016 Girls Football Week, a historic agreement has been reached between Chesterfield FC Community Trust and Chesterfield Ladies Football Club.
The two organisations are now partners and have signed a five-year agreement to work together on developing the women’s game in Chesterfield.
The Community Trust currently deliver female football development sessions to a number of secondary schools across the region, free of charge throughout the academic year, as part of the Premier League Girls programme.
The new partnership will give the opportunity for girls to then train with and potentially play for Chesterfield Ladies FC.
Michael Noon, activities manager at the Community Trust said: “We have been in partnership with Chesterfield Ladies for 12 months and the new five-year agreement gives both parties the stability to make long term plans to increase participation in women’s and girl’s football in the local area.
"We’re proud of our track record of delivering excellent after school girls coaching and we will continue to give girls the opportunity to play competitive football through Chesterfield Ladies Football Club.”
Chesterfield Ladies FC chairman Keith Jackson added: “The partnership has been a success over the last 12 months, with a significant number of players joining our club having started playing at Community Trust female football sessions.
"We’re delighted to have signed a five-year agreement to develop this link, which will see our players wearing Chesterfield FC shirts, which is important to the club but is really exciting for the girls.”
One player who made the transition from female football development sessions to Chesterfield Ladies FC is Maddie Sutton, she said: “When CFCCT started coaching sessions at our school I became more confident and was encouraged to train with Chesterfield Ladies.
"I was nervous at first, but I’ve now played two matches and the parents and coaches have made us feel really welcome. I’ve really enjoyed the move from coaching in school to training and playing with Chesterfield Ladies.”
Jackson further summed up the partnership: “We have grown our club by adding three teams in the last three years. The exciting opportunity working with the Community Trust will mean that we can give opportunities to a significantly higher number of girls, which is great for the area but will also will strengthen our playing sides, ultimately benefitting our first team, who have aspirations to climb the women’s football pyramid.”
John Croot, chief executive of the Community Trust said: “I am delighted that we have been able to commit to a long term partnership with Chesterfield Ladies FC.
"It’s fantastic for the trust and the club alike. It gives Chesterfield FC supporters the opportunity to find out about our women’s programme and watch one of the fastest growing sports in the country.”