As Bradford City WFC's season was curtailed last month, attention behind the scenes immediately turned to the 2021/22 season and the aim to challenge for promotion back to the FAWNL Premier Division.
Meanwhile Chris Hames and his increasing coaching staff now focus on recruitment to help deliver that goal. Hames is hoping to retain the majority of the squad he built in 2020/21, a squad which collectively only saw five full games and 10 minutes of a sixth before COVID struck again.
The merger with the Bradford City Community Foundation in January will be key to this recruitment and future development of the squad. There is now a clear link and progression right through from Bradford City Girls Under 10s to the Bradford City WFC First team, giving young players just starting out a vision of where they could be in six to seven years time.
Bradford City AFC Women & Girls General Manager Qasim Akhtar is understandably excited about the opportunities the merger opens up for the club's players. He said: "The curtailment of the 20/21 season was one supported by us at BCWFC. Considering the integrity of the league, the various logistics and the financial implications that would have arisen to restart the league, the decision made by the FAWNL made a lot of sense.
"We have started preparing for the 2021/22 season with a lot of work behind the scenes, including the merger with the Community Foundation and the restructure of the club. We can't wait to get a full season of football in, and, hopefully, this will be possible next season!
"Chris and his coaching staff are working very hard behind the scenes to ensure the squad is ready for the start of the season, including the development of our U18's and U23's squads. The talent coming through further down the age groups is some of the best in the area and I'm looking forward to us building a successful pathway throughout our club".
Any young players keen to join the club's Under 18 and Under 23 squads should first register their interest via the online form which can be found via the following link:
Further details will continue to be shared on social media through the summer months ahead of the return to pre-season training in July.