Notts County owner Alan Hardy has announced plans for a new women’s team at the Meadow Lane club next season.
The team will be called Notts County Women FC to differentiate from the previous women’s team at the club, Notts County Ladies, which was dissolved last year.
Former top-flight outfit Notts Ladies, who played against Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley in 2015, were dissolved 13 months ago on the eve of the FA Women’s Super League season.
After inheriting debts when he bought the club, chairman-owner Hardy made the controversial decision to dissolve the women’s team, leaving several international players without a club.
Speaking of the new team, Hardy said: “It’s like building a house.
“You don’t start with a house you start with the foundations.
“This is not just a lot of ladies that have been jettisoned in from Lincoln like they were previously.”
Mr Hardy said that it was necessary for a fresh start for the women’s team.
He said that the decision to fold the previous ladies’ team was the hardest of his career, but to keep it running would have been financial suicide.
“The numbers did not work. Now we are launching it with some structure, we are going to engage with businesses and bring people along with us on a journey.
“This has to be sustainable, this is about an entire club.
“Notts County is not just a men’s team, it is a club that has a boys’ junior programme, a girls’ junior programme and now a senior women’s team.”
Open trials for the new squad will take place at Meadow Lane this weekend with Notts County in the Community lead coach Adam Dunleavy announced as manager.
Although Ladies used to play at Meadow Lane, the new team is expected to play elsewhere locally, potentially at the home of Ilkeston Town FC, which is also owned by Hardy.
The new team will also provide a pathway from the girls’ elite performance set-up, which was established at the start of the 2017-18 season, to a senior women’s side.