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Posted 19th June 2010, 07:27 in
Combinations

WFC Fulham Fold

Chairman Paul Hayes reports on the sad demise of WFC Fulham, a once professional side full of internationals.

In May 2006, Fulham Football Club withdrew its funding of Fulham Ladies but agreed to allow club officers, parents and players to take over the reins, so the team could continue playing at the highest level of women's football. ?Prior to this, the Ladies had been a highly successful team, winning many honours, and at one time was a fully professional organisation. As there was now no connection with Fulham FC, it was decided to alter the club's name to WFC Fulham in order to make this separation clear.

Season 2006-2007 saw the club survive against all the odds, having initially lost its funding, facilities, equipment and all but three players from a large squad. There was the expected relegation of the 1st Team from the National Division, but the bonus of a County Cup Final appearance and the Club’s continued existence kept the spirits up.

In the 2007/2008 season WFC Fulham prospered with a talented squad of players. The 1st Team were crowned champions of the Women’s Premier League Southern Division, becoming the first one ever to be promoted back to the National Division at the first attempt. The Reserves also won the Women’s Premier League Reserve Section Division 2 South and the club was runner-up in the FA’s Club of the Year award.

Season 2008/2009 brought the need to re-establish WFC Fulham as a National Division outfit but this didn’t work out and relegation ensued once more. In order to match its ambitions to remain in top flight women’s football, the committee brought in new personnel for the 2009/2010 season and continued to provide first class facilities by securing an excellent sponsorship deal. We had limited success in our attempts to secure mutually beneficial partnerships with other clubs or organisations to provide a feed of talented players looking to compete at a high level. In the end, an independent club will always struggle to compete with a women’s team linked to a mainstream men’s club and we were unable to keep our place in the Women’s Premier League.

With a step down to a lower division for the upcoming season, our main sponsor has withdrawn and we have been unable to broker any new deal. Consequently it is with great sadness we have to announce the folding of WFC Fulham. The people associated with the club feel that it is a huge loss to the women’s game, for such a big name club to end its existence.

Over the past four years, through the love of the club and the desire to keep the club running, sponsors, supporters, players, and parents have funded the club. Managers, coaches and committee members have not only given their time and guidance without charge but have also personally funded the club. Additionally, we have received support from the FA and other teams in the Premier League, for which we are grateful. We thank you all.

WFC Fulham would like to thank those players who have played for us over the last 4 years, especially those who have played in our final season. We hope that those players from last season’s teams will find a place in other teams and will continue to play football at the highest level.

The club would particularly like to thank the full support given by our past and present committee members, managers and coaches - Fred Brockwell, Geoff Bourne, John Trimnell, Jackie Trimnell, Stevland Kellman, Chris Lyons, Mark Saunders, Bart Argenziano, Lorraine Swindlehurst, Charlotte Fisk, Jenny Archer and Emily Bourne, for their support over the years.
 

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