Watford Ladies FC Club History
Watford FC Ladies Recent History
Back in 2013 the Hornets finished second in the FA Women’s Premier League. On the pitch success was matched off the pitch as the club’s application for a license to compete in the newly formed Women’s Super League 2 was accepted.
The inaugural season got underway in April 2014 and the first game for Watford resulted in a 2-2 draw against Millwall Lionesses, with 330 in attendance.
Impressive form away from home meant that Watford were in third place as the season approached the half-way point, however some misfortune with injuries meant this form couldn’t be maintained and the club finished seventh.
The follow up season ultimately proved to be a difficult one in terms of results, but there was success in other avenues.
Watford’s opening home league game against Aston Villa was held at Vicarage Road and attracted a fantastic crowd of 1,102. It wasn’t the only impressive attendance of the season, as respective crowds of 465 (v Yeovil) and 514 (v Durham) saw the team play at Berkhamsted FC.
Having taken over the managerial position in the 2011/12 season and the General Manager role for the start of the WSL, John Salomon had plenty to do with the upward trajectory at the Hornets. He stepped down from both roles at the end of the season to begin a new role with the FA.
It meant there were two positions to fill. Ellie Kemp came on board as General Manager while Katie Rowson took on the position of Head Coach.
The third season again proved to be a difficult one on the field but back-to-back home wins were recorded against Everton and Oxford United.
Most importantly it was a campaign where Watford Ladies came under the umbrella of Watford FC for the first time, with the men’s set-up giving plenty of support. One of the big changes was the club moving away from the grassroots set-up and Watford Ladies Youth.
With the WSL transitioning from a summer league to a winter league, it meant a mini nine game season took place at the beginning of 2017.
It was a much better time on the pitch, as the Golden Girls led by new Head Coach Keith Boanas earned eight points in a five-game period, more than they had earned in the entirety of either 2015 or 2016.
Watford also moved to a new home ground, with Kings Langley becoming the home of the Hornets, a partnership that continues to be fruitful for both to this day.
Ed Henderson had helped stabilise the club during the Spring Series having taken over as interim General Manager. His work continued in the summer as he secured several new sponsorships and continued to build the profile of Watford, with 823 turning up for the game against Arsenal.
It was another challenging season, however there were plenty of bright spots in the second half of 17/18. Armand Kavaja and Clinton Lancaster were put in charge and handed a number of young players their opportunities in the first-team fold.
The coaching staff had played a big role in developing the players and performances were much-improved towards the end, with a 2-1 win at Oxford United the highlight.
The new make-up of the Women’s football pyramid was confirmed on May 28th 2018 and despite a strong application, Watford were put in the FA Women's National League (Tier 3) rather than the FA Women's Championship (Tier 2).
There will be a subtle change in name moving forward, with the side now officially referred to as ‘Watford FC Ladies’, only when distinction is needed, conveying the positive outlook for women’s football planned for the coming seasons.
The club will continue to run a high-performance model like that operated in the WSL 2, over the last four years, with Watford FC funding all aspects of the operational infrastructure at existing levels. A new mission statement, vision, and core values were launched as the club looked to start with a fresh outlook.
The 2018/19 season begins on August 18th, where a new chapter in the history of Watford FC Ladies begins.