About Us‎ > ‎

Club History

Watford Ladies F.C. in its present form, is the result of a merger between Watford Ladies F.C and Watford Town Girls F.C.

Watford Ladies F.C. was formed in 1970, following a number of letters received by Watford F.C. to start a ladies football team from within the supporters club. Whereupon Committee member Doug Hewish agreed to get things started and advertisements were circulated for any interested players to attend a meeting.

The first meeting took place at Watford Fields Junior School and over 40 girls attended. It was agreed trials would be held at Cassiobury Park, which brought forth a team of 18 players, to be managed by Doug Hewish, and trained by John Williams and Mike Walker.

Originally, the club was known as the Supporters Club Ladies Team, but later became known as "Willy Walker Wonders" after the 2 coaches. Following the departure of John Williams, the name changed again to "Walkers Watford Wonders", and after Mike Walker’s departure, to its present name, Watford Ladies F.C. The club performed extremely well in its formative years, and was fortunate to exist during the early years of organised ladies league football.

Watford Town Girls F.C. in May was formed in 1991 by Stephan Small. The club was originally called Watford & Harrow Girls F.C. and following an advertisement in the Watford Observer, five girls attended the first training session held in Cassiobury Park. With a borrowed kit they entered a 5 a side competition and finished as runners up. This small success was highlighted in the local paper and brought forth a number of new players. By the end of that summer the club had enough players to join the Brent Girls 11 a side League for Season 91/92.

However with the club name incorporating two different towns, they struggled to gain support from the local press and local authorities. Therefore in 1992 the club was renamed Watford Girls F.C. The change of name had the desired effect and support was forthcoming from both Watford Borough Council and the Watford Observer in the form of publicity.

By 1992 the club had grown to a membership of 30 girls and was able to enter two 11 a side teams at U12s & U14s into the league. However, in 1993 the club was again forced to change its name, due to an objection from Watford Ladies F.C. who complained that people would confuse Watford Girls F.C. with a junior section of their club, henceforth the club was re-named Watford Town Girls F.C.

Although the club was achieving great success on the pitch, it was still far behind its competitors in terms of kit, equipment and pitch facilities. In 1994 the parents & management decided to undertake work at Wembley Stadium, in order to raise money to purchase the clubs first kit and for indoor training facilities. Contact was made with various local Councillors to attempt to gain some support for facilities within the Borough of Watford, and eventually the Director of Leisure at Watford Borough Council decided to investigate the clubs plight. A site was recognised as being ideal for the clubs needs, however finance was required to provide the correct facilities and this was achieved in the form of a successful Lottery bid.

The club membership by 1997, had risen to over 70 girls, many of whom were too old to play youth football and it was decided to move the club into ladies football. In order to achieve this, a partnership was sought with a club able to compete at a senior level. This was found, ironically, with Watford Ladies F.C. and the two clubs agreed to merge, adopting the older club name.

In 2002, Watford Ladies F.C. realised that the final plans for the site identified as its home ground would not be financially viable. Along with Watford Borough Council, the club sought a solution to finding a home. This was found with Sun Postal Sports and Social Club, who were undergoing a major redevelopment of their Bellmount Wood Avenue ground. The then Chairman, Eric Wood-Thompson, negotiated an agreement to the benefit of both clubs and the development was completed in September 2003, allowing Watford Ladies to have a home ground for the first time.

Under Co-managers Darren Ward and Paul Tarver, the Ladies 1st Team won promotion in 2003 to the FA Nationwide Women's Premier League - Southern Division and finished fifth in its first season of top flight football in 2004. The team narrowly escaped relegation in 2005 and in 2006 just lost out on promotion, finishing in third place.

The club was awarded Charter Standard Club status in 2004 and has continued it's growth to provide football for girls of all ages from 6 upwards.

A change of management in 2006 saw the appointment of Sian Williams, the former Arsenal, Charlton and England player as Manager, who along with Coach Matt Ward took the team to new heights by gaining promotion to the FA Nationwide Women's Premier League - National Division, having won the Southern Division title by 10 points and only losing three games all season. The club has remained in the National Premier League ever since.

In the autumn of 2006 a link was established with Watford FC through it's Community, Sports and Education Trust. A partnership agreement was signed by both clubs giving Watford Ladies their first support from the men's club since the 1970's.

In November 2009 the club said farewell to Sian and Craig Rydeheard took on the task of managing the First team to the end of that season. The team is now managed by John Salomon, who stepped up two seasons ago from Reserve Team Manager to replace Neil Hart, who had taken over at the start of the 2010/11 season and proceeded to assist in keeping the club in the National Premier League against all odds.

Season 2012/13 saw it be the most successful and significant in the club's history as the club finished Runners Up in the National Premier League, having pushed Sunderland all the way and the Reserve Team were champions in the Premier Reserve League South Division Two. These achievements went some way to ensuring the club submitted a successful WSL application and Watford now enter a new era from 2014 onwards as part of the 2nd tier of the Womens Super League.

Watford Ladies U10's CPP
Watford Ladies U11's CPP
Watford Ladies U12's CPP
Watford Ladies U14 CPP Harts
Watford Ladies U14 CPP Wasps
Watford Ladies U16 CPP