Coventry move to bridge the gap – Steve Carpenter

Coventry City FC development director Steve Waggott has been added to the board of Coventry City Ladies, in a bid to improve links between the two sides.

The Sky Blues narrowly missed out on a place in the Women’s Super League after the FA revealed on Friday the names of 18 clubs to participate in a new two tier system from 2014.

Former manager Paul Cudby spearheaded the club’s application, which was submitted back in March after the FA opened the application process for all women’s clubs to apply to enter the league.

But chairman Bill Newnes received confirmation that their bid had been unsuccessful, largely because of the separation from the men’s side.

And Waggott is hoping his inclusion on the board can help bridge the gap between the two teams.

“The relationship between the two sides, I believe, is stronger than it has ever been and I think that’s the reason why I have been asked to become a board member,” said Waggott.

“There seemed to have been a detachment there in the past but we will support the ladies team where and when we can.

“We’ve done a massive amount of work already over the past 12 months with the ladies side in terms of the bucket shakes, promoting their games and getting news and match reports on our website.

“Once we have come through this difficult period for the club we can then sit down with the ladies and see what we can do for them and vice versa.

“I have been working hard since I came here to improve links in the community and Coventry City Ladies certainly falls into that plan.”

Although Newnes is disappointed not to have been accepted into the Super League, he echoed the thoughts of Waggott and said the club are determined to bounce back:

“As a club, we are bitterly disappointed that the FA decided not to award us with a licence for the WSL.

“The players have progressed on the field to reach the top flight of women’s football and we all feel deflated that we have missed out on gaining a licence.

“It has been a difficult time for the men’s team and we understand the difficulties they have to resolve.

“This is why we established a broader business plan to incorporate more partners in the business and educational world, without having to call upon the men’s club.

“But with having Steve Waggott on our board from the men’s club, I am confident a much stronger relationship will develop between both clubs and we will gain a licence next time round.

“We picked ourselves up after losing the Centre of Excellence licence and we will do it again.” 

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