Durham Women FC shift to full-time training model

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Durham Women FC have announced that they will be adopting a full-time training model ahead of the 2022/23 season. In recent years, the club have operated using a hybrid model, but are going full-time in a bid to continue their development after a disappointing FA WSL Championship season, finishing sixth.

They are also currently recruiting numerous new full-time staffing roles in order to support the first-team playing squad and the new Barclays FA WSL Academy squad.

The Wildcats are scheduled to return to training at Maiden Castle in early July. There will likely be significant movement both in and out of the club this summer in response to the new model.

Defensive stalwart Abby Holmes has already moved to Sunderland Ladies alongside Nicki Gears, but the club have confirmed that a number of players have already committed to the club for the upcoming season.

The shift to full-time training is viewed by the club as the natural next step on the road to professionalism. Within the Championship this season, six of the eleven teams were either fully professional or training full-time, including four of the five teams which finished above Durham in the final standings.

Full-time training is viewed by the club as the natural next step on the road to professionalism

Manager Lee Sanders commented that “This is a hugely positive step and the natural one for the club to take as we look to build on the successes we have had in recent seasons. 

“It’s the right thing to do for the players and our staff and gives the younger players at the club the knowledge that this is something they can pursue as a career at Durham.

“Naturally, there will be some player movement as a consequence of the decision – not everyone can train during the day – and we of course will thank those players for their time spent at the club.

“However, we are excited about new players who will come in and be announced in due course – as well as the promotion of young players from within the club pathway.”

Club captain Sarah Wilson added: “It’s incredible and so exciting for the club. There has been so much work gone into making this happen, and I am very grateful to have the opportunity. It’s something that I’ve dreamed of being able to do since I first started playing when I was eight years old. 

“Personally I didn’t think I would ever get the chance so it’s an opportunity that I’m going to grab with both hands. Of course, the downside is that there will be some movement. This is the nature of the game and that’s football. But the direction this club is moving in is something to be very excited about, especially for our younger players coming though.”

Image: Durham Women FC

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