Oxford United Women and the RTC have been given a major boost with the news that a new Development Side will be in operation next season.
The new squad will bridge the gap from youth football to playing for the club’s senior National League side, allowing the best local footballers to progress and develop, as RTC Centre Manager Lauren Haynes told us:
“It’s a really exciting time for us and it’s great to build on the existing partnership between our Regional Talent Centre, where we work with some amazing young footballers across Oxfordshire and add a Development Squad to feed into the Women’s First Team.
“That’s great for all of us because it helps Liam Gilbert and the first team but also gives a clear pathway for our younger players to progress.
“The players will be able to step up from the RTC where we work with players from 8 to 16 and they can progress into the Development squad, essentially an under 23 squad, who will play competitive matches in a league as well as feeding into the First Team.”
First Team Manager Liam Gilbert added:
“I want to thank the cub for backing us in what we see as an essential move to strengthen the work we have done over the last couple of years in building a clear women’s development path. This will allow the players to take that next step up from playing in age groups to playing regularly in a senior league and that is not just going to help them as players it is also going to help the whole club continue to grow.”
See a FREEVIEW video above in which Lauren and First Team Coach Kath Faulkner explain the benefits of a Development Side and how potential players will be able to join trials later in the summer.