BREAKING NEWS – Introducing the new Rugby Borough Women!
1st June 2023
A new era is upon us…
Today we are delighted to announce a new chapter in our rich and exciting history. From next season we will be playing under the name, Rugby Borough FC.
The 15-mile relocation from Coventry to Rugby is not one we’ve taken lightly. After our recent relegation, we have reflected upon how to move the club forward positively and reach our aim of promotion back into the Barclays Women’s Championship.
After training at Rugby Borough FC in periods, during the 2021-2022 and 2022-23 seasons, it’s clear that we share the same values and they have welcomed us with open arms. We will train and play matches at their £2.5m, 35-acre facility at Kilsby Lane which is the perfect environment for our players to excel both on and off the pitch.
Our General Manager, Jack Heaselden said, “The aim is to hopefully only be in tier three for one year. We want to operate at as high a level as we can off the pitch, so we want not only a Championship mentality but actually a WSL mentality. We’re going to provide things that we don’t necessarily need to provide by the regulations, so giving the girls access to top medical provision and player houses – we’re not seeing it [relegation] as an opportunity to just do the bare minimum. It’s a fantastic facility, there are a lot of clubs even higher up that haven’t got access to this kind of facility, and there are plans in place to expand it and give us our own building, our own gym, so it’s going to become a real hub for the club. We know it’s capable of growth.”
Theresa Blandford is chair of the Rugby Borough girls club alongside a women led committee. They currently have over 200 playing members from ages four to eighteen, with fifteen girls youth teams. Theresa said, “It will put us more on the map, help us grow our fanbase and give us more opportunity to grow our facility even further. We’re really pleased to have them come onboard as a tier-three team for our women’s section. We’ve got a massive girls section, and now the girls can see the progression to senior level”.
Our Head Coach Lee Burch and Assistant Sian Osmond will remain in charge for the upcoming season. Lee said, “It really shows the forward-planning of the club and where we want to go in the future. We really feel it can benefit both parties. From a head coach point of view, it ticks a lot of the boxes we need and I’m really excited for the future. We’re very mindful of our fans who have been with the club on its journey, but hopefully they can continue to support the team even though there’s a change of colour and a change of badge – ultimately it’s the same people and quite a few of the same players and staff, so please come along on the journey with us.”
Coventry legend Katy Morris spoke on behalf of our players and said, “We’ve been training at Rugby’s facilities for the past couple of seasons too so to be on board here now it’s just a very exciting time, to have a club behind us. All the equipment can be stored here, which is something we’ve struggled with in the past, so it is something that’s really ideal. All the girls feel comfortable here using the inside facilities as well. For me it’s only 30 minutes away but that’s nothing and in previous seasons, for training, the girls haven’t really had too much trouble getting here, so it’s not a bad place for us. With the staff and players that we have, hopefully it can put us in a good position to compete and hopefully bounce straight back to the Championship.”
Our Chairman, Lewis Taylor said, “We never really belonged in Coventry. They see themselves as a one-club city and I completely understand that. We were always kind of playing second fiddle before [at Butts Park Arena], trying to fit in where we could in a facility that’s not geared up for football, but as soon as you go through the gates at Rugby Borough you feel like you’re in a proper football place”.
“We’ve earmarked a piece of land at Rugby Borough and will be talking to architects in the coming months, with a vision to have a dedicated women’s hub, which will be dual-purpose for a training facility, offices and a hub that opens up on a matchday as well, and that helps us have a permanent home. It’s about putting down roots”.
“What I would say to reassure all the fans is that we’re doing this for longevity in the club. We were never guaranteed permanent residency previously, so we would have had to consistently renegotiate our terms.
“We’re very thankful for the fans that did come out to see us [in Coventry] but if there is a kind of feeling of ‘we’re taking away the club from Coventry’, my point would be, we didn’t really see those people on match days [in huge numbers]. We’re still going to keep working in the community within Coventry and Rugby, so we see it as an opportunity to cast our net far and wide, and now we’ve got somewhere to call home.”
We are here to answer any questions you have, please drop them in the comments and we will come back to you as quickly as we can.
Over the coming days and weeks, we will be talking all things Rugby Borough such as the club history, information about the girl’s academy, the facilities, what to expect on a matchday and so much more.
We look forward to having you with us on this new journey.