COVENTRY City Ladies have agreed a deal to play their home matches at the Ricoh Arena until further notice.
Chairman Bill Newnes has announced a deal that will see the Sky Blues move from their former home at Bedworth United.
It is seen as another positive step for the ambitious club who have plans to progress to the Women’s Super League (WSL) set-up by 2017.
Newnes, who has been chairman for just over two years, said moving to the Ricoh Arena is a statement of the club’s intent going forward.
“I am delighted that we will be playing our home matches at the Ricoh Arena next season.” said Newnes.
“Our players, staff and fans had the chance to experience playing at the venue last season and we’re all looking forward to making it our new home.
“Playing at the Ricoh Arena is important to the club on so many levels.
“We want to be able to attract the best players to the club in order to move up to the next level and players will want to play in this type of venue on a regular basis.
“But perhaps more importantly we have plans of gaining a licence to play in the WSL and this is a big step towards that.
“We have a great structure, dedicated staff and players in place, and now we have a wonderful stadium to showcase what we’re all about.”
The club narrowly missed out on a spot in the new WSL two-tier structure last year after being overlooked by the FA.
However, despite the set-back Craig Nicholls led the Sky Blues to the Premier League Southern Division title in his debut season as manager and also retained the Birmingham County FA trophy for the third season in a row.
Newnes is hoping the club can continue their success by securing back-to-back titles in the Northern Division.
He added: “Craig enjoyed a fantastic debut season and he deserves a huge amount of credit for his achievements.
“The plan is to build on that success and win the Northern Division title.
“We want to show people that we mean business. We want to become a force in the women’s game and at the moment we’re going the right way about doing that.”
Craig Nicholls also believes that the move will provide the club with a fantastic opportunity.
He added: “It is a great stage for the players to play on, it is one of the finest stadiums in the country so to be given the opportunity to play our home games there is fantastic.
“It will help us attract players, I’d certainly love to play there every week! And in regards to the future, if we keep applying ourselves in the correct manner on the pitch and achieve success, it can only be a positive step as we seek entrance into the WSL.
“As management and players we want to be recognised for our high standards of play so to be playing at such a wonderful facility will only enhance that.”
Newnes added: “If any business or individual would like to join us with sponsorship or help at the games then please contact us. We currently have an opening for a Marketing Officer and other roles.”
The club can be contacted through Club Secretary Andy Stickley at email@example.com or on 07740 869757.