Updated at 5:13pm on April 28th.
The Club is delighted to announce a new direction for its female football activity for the 2021/22 season onwards.
Since 2016 the Club’s senior women’s team has been run by an external organisation and currently competes at step 4 of the FA’s Women’s Football Pyramid.
However, as part of an all-encompassing strategy to develop female football in the area, the Club will be launching an Academy that in time will include age groups from under 9’s to under 18’s, mirroring the boys’ Academy.
This will be supplemented by development centres, college programmes and will lead into a first-team that will compete initially at step six of the pyramid under the direct control of the Football Club.
This year, in partnership with Writtle College, a programme was launched for girls over the age of 16 to study for qualifications, whilst improving their footballing skills with professional coaching from the club.
“This is an exciting time for the development of female football at Leyton Orient.”
The programme has been a great success so far and will be a big part of the process going forward; helping to provide a clear pathway for players.
Director of Football, Martin Ling said: “This is an exciting time for the development of female football at Leyton Orient. We believe there is a huge opportunity in the local area to open doors for female players to become part of our new set-up and progress their own ambitions as footballers.
“We will be establishing key relationships with local professional and grassroots clubs and hope to make progression at all levels. Whilst we will be initially dropping down within the pyramid, for us there is a bigger long-term picture involving increased activity and opportunities for more players.”
In 2015 local club KIKK United was granted permission to use the Leyton Orient WFC name and now competes at step four of the women’s pyramid under the leadership of its First Team Manager, Chris Brayford.
“In our discussions with the team, we promised that we wouldn’t approach any of their players as part of the agreement of us parting ways.
This was to ensure they remained as settled as possible in their set up going forwards, as well as being mindful of the fact we would be asking them to drop two divisions.
We will announce details of an open trial for the new women’s team in due course, where we would welcome any of the existing players to attend should they wish.”
We would like to place on record our thanks for their efforts and achievements and wish them every success for the future as an independent organisation.
The Club will be announcing further information in due course, including details of trials and any other relevant activity.