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New Era

COLERAINE Football Club is pleased to announce that our Ladies team will now be called Coleraine FC Women, bringing in a new era at The Showgrounds…

The change will see the Bannsiders move away from consistently referring to our men’s team as the ‘first’ team, acknowledging the ever-growing status of women’s football, and Coleraine within it.

We believe this change is representative of a modern view on language and equality, and is in keeping with the way our governing bodies, supporters, squad and management regard the women’s game.

At Coleraine, we see our female players as role models for the next generation, just as we do our men’s team, and hope their achievements can help inspire and empower even more women and girls to take up the game we all love.

Over the last few years, the women’s game in Northern Ireland has grown from strength to strength as Kenny Shiels’ senior international squad get ready for this summer’s European Championships.

Coleraine FC wish to continue that development of girls following in the footsteps of their heroes by having new structures in place, providing fun and practical training sessions, as well as a pathway through to the senior team at The Showgrounds.

Furthermore, will be increasing their social media presence of our Women’s team throughout the season as the Bannsiders get set to kick-start their NIFWA Championship campaign next week – the second tier of football in Northern Ireland.

The club will only use the name ‘Coleraine FC Women’ in order to differentiate the side from the men’s team. We will, wherever possible, refer to our women’s team as ‘Coleraine’ – the same as we do our men’s team.

Coleraine Chairman, Colin McKendry, said: “For too long probably the women’s football wasn’t integrated enough within the club.

“The time is right that we go down the route of what we’re doing by integrating the women’s team and setting structures so that when you arrive as a little girl you have a pathway right through to the senior team under Alison.

“That’s our long-term goal, it’s exciting times but we realise it might also be difficult due to a small pool of players but I’ve doubt moving forward that we will recruit young players and nurture them into representing Coleraine at a senior level.”

Coleraine FC Women Manager, Alison Nicholl, added: “It’s very exciting times for us and it’s great that Colin and the club are integrating us in their system.

“Every young girl should want to play football and there are a lot of role models there on the Northern Ireland team.

“We hope that we get lots of young girls coming through here at Coleraine and it will be great playing on the fantastic surface at The Showgrounds.

“We do have a small pool of players to choose from but if anyone fancies playing for Coleraine, then we warmly invite them to make contact with us.”