Torquay United provide investment and progressive resources for women’s team

Torquay United players huddle during a match
PHOTO CREDIT: Torquay United FC. 2024

Torquay United have confirmed a new wave of investment as the ownership aligns the men’s and women’s teams.

The women’s side, who compete in the FA Women’s National League, will work hand-in-hand with their male counterparts. The Devon club is committed to bringing the two teams ‘together as one’.

CEO of Torquay United Joe Lovell has hailed the decision as ‘an exciting time for everyone involved with Torquay United’. In a further statement of celebration, he added: “We are looking forward to our women’s side playing a big part in our progression as an inclusive football club.”

Torquay’s decision is a huge statement amid examples of others struggling to survive without the backing of the men’s side. It has been proven that women’s teams that don’t receive such support often fall into tough times. MSV Duisburg and Reading both recently ‘voluntarily’ dropped to the fifth tier of their respective football pyramids, due to lack of funding and loss of licence.

That’s not likely to be the tale of Torquay, though. The club has opened its previously exclusively male training facility to all teams. The Gulls have also introduced radio equipment that will allow fans to tune into all home and away matches.

A new era at Torquay United

The hope is that the team will be able to progress up the league pyramid and start challenging for titles.

Torquay’s head of women’s football Steve Elswood said: “We are absolutely delighted to be part of this exciting new journey for the football club. For us to now work hand-in-hand with the club is very special as it’s been an aim of mine to develop the women’s team to this point for the last three seasons.

“It’s a reward for the hard work and success the women have put in over that time — and achieved in silverware — and for us to now feel fully included alongside the men’s team is a proud moment.”

It’s clear that the feeling inside the club is that this is what is needed to bring trophies to Torquay. Elswood also drew on his previous dreams of integration.

“It’s a feeling that [we] are confident of developing even further within this amazing football club. We can’t wait for the yellow army to be part of this journey with us so we can bring back silverware to Plainmoor in 2024/25.”

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