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Exeter City FC increases financial contribution to women’s team

Exeter City Football Club has demonstrated its support for women’s football with an increase in its financial commitment to the ECFC Women’s team and at least two guaranteed matches at St James Park this season.

The club will contribute £35,000 towards the running of the women’s team this season, an increase of £10,000 on last year’s contribution. Two games are already slated for St James Park, with the potential of a further two matches later in the season.

Exeter City Men’s front of shirt sponsor HEL Performance, has also contributed towards the women’s team through its club sponsorship.

The women’s team plays in the FAWNL Division One South West and narrowly missed promotion last season. They play most of their home games at Exwick Sports Hub; their two matches at St James Park last year saw total crowds of more than 5,000 fans.

Nick Hawker, chair of Exeter City Supporters’ Trust, said: “This donation shows that we take women’s football very seriously here at Exeter City. We have a fantastic women’s team and development structure, which of course needs investment, so the club board is pleased to make this contribution. The amazing success of the Lionesses to reach the World Cup final has brought more attention to the women’s game, which can only be a good thing for football generally.”

As well as the first team, the club has a development team, Exeter City Women Reserves, which plays in the National League Reserve South West Division. The squads are managed by the club’s partner charity, Exeter City Community Trust, which has developed a female football pathway, giving girls and young women opportunities to play from tiny tots right up to the women’s team.

Exeter City Community Trust also runs the Girls’ Development Centre in Exeter and Emerging Talent Centres in Exeter and North Devon. The Girls’ Development Centre, which is based at the club’s Cliff Hill Training Ground, has around 100 girls aged between nine and 16 with talented players going on to Exeter College and ultimately to the Exeter City Women.

Abbie Britton, joint manager of Exeter City Women and charity development officer at Exeter City Community Trust, said the club’s investment would make a significant difference to the team.

“The club’s ongoing commitment to the women’s team is fantastic. We are an ambitious team with some very talented players and this contribution is vital to helping us achieve our promotion aims. We’re very grateful to the club and also to the businesses and individuals who sponsor our team and players.”

Latoyah Egerton, who is the Her Game Too ambassador at Exeter City, welcomed the commitment of the club to play at least two women’s matches at St James Park. She added: “It’s fantastic to see the women’s team return to SJP this season and build on the success of a record-breaking attendance last season.

“The club has been a fantastic support to Her Game Too since it was started, and after two successful dedicated weekends it’s exciting to be back again with both the men’s and women’s teams pledging their support for the cause.”

The two confirmed games at St James Park are against Moneyfields on September 24 and Maidenhead on March 10, which will also be the dedicated Her Game Too weekend. It is hoped a further two games will be played at the stadium, which will be dependent on cup draws and how the season progresses.