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Nottingham Forest Women F.C.

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Nottingham Forest Women
Full nameNottingham Forest
Women
Nickname(s)Forest
The Reds
Tricky Trees
The Garibaldi
Founded1990
GroundCity Ground
Capacity30,332
Head of Women and Girls FootballAmber Wildgust
ManagerCarly Davies
LeagueFA Women's National League North
2023–24FA Women's National League North, 3rd of 12
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Nottingham Forest Women is an English women's association football club affiliated with Nottingham Forest Football Club. Nottingham Forest Women are members of the FA Women's National League North, which stands at level three of the women's football league pyramid.[1]

History[edit]

The first known existence of a female Nottingham Forest team competed in the Notts and Derby League in the early 1970s.

Nottingham Forest Ladies[edit]

Nottingham Forest Women was officially founded in 1990 by the NFFC Community arm and then developed by the players. The small group of young women advertised in the men's official programme against Everton for players to join them.[2]

Nottingham Forest Women picked up their first FA Women's Premier League title in the 2007–08 season, winning the Northern Division following a 5–1 victory in their last game of the season against Sheffield Wednesday.[3]

Nottingham Forest Women submitted an unsuccessful application to join the Women's Super League for the inaugural 2011 Women's Super League season. As a result, the club missed out on £70,000 of Football Association funding to develop the club's footballing infrastructure and the television coverage of the league's deal with ESPN.[4][5][6]

Nottingham Forest Ladies recorded their highest placing in the FA Women's Premier League (then the top division of English women's football) in the 2010–2011 season by finishing 2nd behind Sunderland. In the same season, Forest also reached the FA Women's Premier League Cup 2010–2011 final where they were defeated by Barnet on penalties.[7][8][9]

Nottingham Forest Ladies submitted another unsuccessful application to join the Women's Super League in 2012 as part of the league's restructuring into two tiers with eight teams in the Women's Super League 1 and 10 teams in the newly created Women's Super League 2. The club missed out again on Football Association funding of either £70,000 (awarded to clubs in Women's Super League 1) or £25,000 (awarded to clubs in Women's Super League 2) which led to concerns that the club may fold with a financial shortfall of £20,000.[10][11][12]

The club's financial concerns continued ahead of the FA Women's Premier League 2013–2014 season during which the club announced that following five years of funding (including a £10,000 donation from former owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi in August 2012), Nottingham Forest would no longer financially support Nottingham Forest Ladies Football Club for the 2013–2014 season and beyond, or provide them with any club playing kit that had been ordered in November 2012. The club's short-term future was secured by electronic cigarette company E-Lites who agreed a short-term sponsorship deal to enable Nottingham Forest Ladies to complete the season in which they eventually finished 4th in the Northern Division.[13][14][15][16]

Nottingham Forest Ladies continued as a self-funded football club until the FA Women's Premier League 2017–2018 season. The team, however, were unable to better that 4th-place finish with a highest place finish of 6th in the FA Women's Premier League Northern Division 2015–2016 season and the semi finals of the FA Women's Premier League Cup in the 2015–2016 competition (in which they were defeated 1-0 by eventual winners Tottenham Hotspur). The club were sustained financially throughout this period by sponsorship partnerships with the No More Page 3 campaign, Ryley Wealth Management, and Inc. London.[17][18][19][20][21]

In April 2016, Nottingham Forest Ladies were awarded a tier three license to launch a Regional Talent Centre in which to deliver enhanced coaching and support to improve the development of elite female players through the Football Association's girls’ England talent pathway. The Regional Talent Centre age groups covered under 12s, 14s and 16s, in which the under 12s competed in Charter Standard youth leagues (designed to enable players to further develop both technically and physically) and the older age groups competed in Football Association organised fixture programmes against other Regional Talent Centres.[22][23]

Nottingham Forest Women[edit]

Under Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis, Nottingham Forest Ladies have been integrated into the whole football club.

In April 2018, Nottingham Forest and Nottingham Forest Ladies announced an agreement to create a close working relationship between the two organisations and work towards becoming one football club. The agreement involved a financial commitment to Nottingham Forest Ladies for on and off the pitch development, players being integrated into club initiatives and marketing campaigns, and a club website presence with player profiles, fixtures, and results.[24][25]

In May 2019, Forest announced that Nottingham Forest Ladies would cease to operate as an independent club and operate fully under Nottingham Forest's control at the City Ground. Forest appointed Lee Billiard as General Manager and former Durham Women and Oxford United Manager Andy Cook as the team's first full-time Head Coach.[26][27][28]

Following this change, Forest announced in June 2019 that Nottingham Forest Ladies were being renamed to Nottingham Forest Women. As part of the change, Nottingham Forest Women adopted the Nottingham Forest badge and removed the word 'Ladies' from the logo.[29]

Nottingham Forest Women entered into a partnership with Nottingham Trent University in August 2019 in which Nottingham Trent University helped construct a women's football programme across the two organisations (in which female footballers could apply to study at Nottingham Trent University and represent Nottingham Forest Women at the first-team level) and introduced a sports scholarship to players who wish to feature in the women's first-team squad. The partnership also enabled Nottingham Forest Women to Nottingham Trent University's health and well-being resources including strength and conditioning facilities, pitch-side physiotherapy and sports science support.[30]

The partnership between Nottingham Forest Women and Nottingham Trent University has since provided a pathway for players to progress to the first-team including Aja Aguirre, Katie Middleton, Mai Moncaster, Niamh Reynolds, Charlotte Steggles, and Sophie Tudor.[31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42]

The FA Women's National League 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 seasons were abandoned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Promotion and relegation were not implemented in 2019–2020 and Watford were awarded promotion from the FA Women's National League 2020–2021 season to the Women's Championship as a result of the FA Women's Football Board's upward movement application process.[43][44][45]

Following the resumption of FA Women's National League competition for the 2021–2022 season, the club achieved its highest league position since the FA Women's Premier League 2015–2016 season by finishing 5th. The club also won the FA Women's National League Plate for the first time by beating AFC Wimbledon 2-1 in the 2021–22 final.[46][47]

Forest's success continued into the FA Women's National League 2022–23 season when the club completed a league and cup double by finishing 1st in the FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division (their first league title since winning the FA Women's Premier League in 2007–2008) and winning the FA Women's National League Cup for the first time by beating Watford 3-2 in 2022–2023 final. Forest were, however, denied promotion to Women's Championship after they were defeated 1-0 by Southern Premier Division champions Watford in the promotion play-off final.[48][49]

Professional hybrid era[edit]

In July 2023, Nottingham Forest confirmed that beginning in the FA Women's National League 2023–2024 season, the Nottingham Forest Women's team will be fully integrated within the club's football department and operate a professional hybrid model as part of Forest's plans to create a fully-professional women's first team. Under the professional hybrid model, Forest's female players are under contract for the first time in the club's history and relocated their training facilities to the Nigel Doughty Academy, where the players will receive an increased amount of training sessions.[50]

The change to a professional hybrid model coincided with numerous changes in the Nottingham Forest Women's footballing operations. Head Coach Andy Cook left the club to join Newcastle United after leading Forest to a league and cup double in the 2022–2023 FA Women's National League season and the club's reserve team was disbanded. The transition also saw numerous players leaving the football club including first-team players Georgia Hewitt, Gianna Mitchell, Yasmin Mosby, Naomi Powell, Charlotte Steggles, Rosetta Taylor, and Amy West. The club, however, were able to retain the services of 2022–2023 leading goal scorer Charlotte Greengrass, club captain Lyndsey Harkin, Aja Aguirre, Becky Anderson, Emily Batty, Olivia Cook, Sophie Domingo, Hayley James, Mai Moncaster, Laura-Jayne O’Neill, and Niamh Reynolds.[51][52][53][54][55][56]

Former Aston Villa and Watford General Manager and London City Lionesses Director of Football Amber Wildgust was appointed as the club's Head of Women and Girls Football with the responsibility of leading the progression of Nottingham Forest Women on and off the pitch. The club also appointed former Aston Villa first-team coach and West Bromwich Albion assistant manager Carly Davies as Head Coach.[57][58][59][60][61][62]

2023-2024 Season[edit]

Forest added to their first-team squad ahead of the start of their FA Women’s National League Northern Premier League title defence season by completing the signings of full-back Nat Johnson and midfielders Mollie Green, Holly Manders, and Freya Thomas.[63][64][65][66]

Forest started the season strongly with successive league victories over [Stourbridge F.C. Women [ | Stourbridge]] (home, 7-0), West Bromwich Albion (away, 1-4), and AFC Fylde (home, 3-1) and a 5-0 away win against Solihull Moors to progress to the FA Women’s National League Cup first round and defend their 2022-2023 crown. The promising start to the season was enhanced with the arrivals of defender Abi Cowie and forward Louanne Worsey on season-long deals from the Women’s Championship team Birmingham City.[67] [68]

September and October proved to be challenging for Carly Davies’ side, however, with an FA Women’s National League Cup second-round home 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers and home 5-0 league win over Liverpool Feds sitting between league defeats over promotion rivals Burnley (away, 4-2), local rivals Derby County at (home, 1-2), and a Women’s National League Cup third-round away 3-0 defeat against eventual beaten finalists Newcastle United. Forest responded by winning 10 of their next 11 matches including four Women's FA Cup wins against Sheffield FC (home, 7-0), Sporting Khalsa (home, 3-2), Boldmere St Michaels (home, 3-1) and Plymouth Argyle (away, 1-6) to set up a fifth-round proper tie against Women’s Super League outfit Everton. This run (of which the only loss was a 0-1 home defeat against league leaders Newcastle United) left the side in 2nd place (four points behind Newcastle) and saw Northern Ireland U19 international full-back Ella Haughey and midfielder Alice Keitley join the club from Lisburn Rangers and a dual-registration loan from Women’s Super League team Aston Villa respectively. [69][70]

Carly Davies’ side was unable to take their momentum from eight consecutive wins into the Women’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Everton with the Women’s Super League side running out comfortable 1-7 winners at Grange Park with Forest generating £123,000 in revenue from their furthest run in the competition since the 2012-2013 season. Forest was unable to rebuild the momentum they created between November 2023 and February 2024 for their final nine FA Women’s National League Northern Premier League fixtures and took only 17 points from a possible 27 and finished their title defence in 3rd place on 47 points (1 point behind 2nd placed Burnley and 12 points behind champions Newcastle United), missing out on promotion to the Women’s Championship for another season.[71][72]

Professional era[edit]

On 9 July 2024, Nottingham Forest confirmed that from the 2025-26 season the club would become a full-time professional outfit. From the 2024-25 season, Forest Women's first team will play all eleven of their home games at The City Ground and comprise of 18 full-time professional players and a small number of part-time players before the transition. Moving to a full time professional model, the women would see an overall contact with the squad, which would allow for an enhanced learning and training education in addition to being able to access the elite nutritional, medical, support and recovery services the club offers.

At Academy level, all paid subscriptions to the Girls’ Academy will be scrapped resulting in parity with the Boys’ Academy. With the Women’s first team and Girl’s academy together, the move will help meet FIFA’s “recommendations for optimal talent development”.

Finally as part of its ‘Vision for Sport’ initiative, the club will launch a major expansion program for grassroots girls football venues within the city itself. There will be a focus on under-served inner-city locations within Nottingham where girls opportunities have been vastly scarce. The aim is to improve accessibility, diversify the homegrown talent pool and provide greater access to health and fitness. The club stated :

”The aim of the initiative is to allow every girl with ambitions of a career playing for Nottingham Forest to have the same opportunities as boys have enjoyed for many years”.

The announcement came weeks after the launch of Nottingham Forest Netball, who will play in the Netball Super League, England's top-tier, in a bid to celebrate women’s sport and the Forest’s vision for gender parity and equal opportunity at all levels.[73]

Stadia[edit]

Current stadia[edit]

City Ground[edit]

From the 2024-25 season, the club will play all eleven home fixtures at The City Ground. They have played several competitive fixtures at since 2021 in various competitions before then. The first game was hosting Derby County. Nottingham Forest lost the game 2-0 in front of an FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division record attendance of 4,443.[74][75]

List of Nottingham Forest women's matches at the City Ground[edit]
As of 19 November 2023
Date Opposition Competition Result Attendance
3 October 2021 Derby County FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division 0-2 4,443
29 January 2022 Manchester City Women's FA Cup 0-8 3,994
16 October 2022 Derby County FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division 3-1 5,082
8 October 2023 Derby County FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division 1-2 6,037
19 November 2023 Newcastle United FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division 0-1 4,995

[76][77][78]

Previous stadia[edit]

Grange Park[edit]

Up until the 2024-25 season Nottingham Forest Women played their home games at Long Eaton United's Grange Park. Grange Park has a capacity of 1,500 (with 500 under standing cover and 150 seats).[79][80]

Before then, the team played their home matches at Eastwood C.F.C.'s Coronation Park between February 2019 and July 2023. Prior to playing at Eastwood, they played at Carlton Town F.C.'s Bill Stokeld Stadium and Basford United F.C.'s Greenwich Avenue.[81][82]

Seasons[edit]

Season League[83] FA Cup[84] League Cup[83]
League Tier P W D L GF GA Pts Pos Cup Round
1999–2000 East Midlands League 4 East Midlands League Cup W
2000–2001
2001–2002 W
2002–2003 1st F
2003–2004 Midland Combination 3 2nd QF
2004–2005 1st
2005–2006 FA WPL North 2 22 8 6 8 33 30 30 5th FA WPL Cup R1
2006–2007 22 11 3 8 41 36 36 3rd R2
2007–2008 22 18 4 0 80 26 58 1st R1
2008–2009 FA WPL National 1 22 5 2 15 25 59 17 10th R3
2009–2010 22 3 4 15 16 51 13 11th QF R2
2010–2011 2 14 6 5 3 19 16 23 2nd R4 F
2011–2012 18 4 3 11 21 42 15 10th R3 R1
2012–2013 FA WPL North 3 16 10 2 4 35 22 32 2nd R5 R4
2013–2014 20 10 3 7 44 24 33 4th R3 QF
2014–2015 22 7 2 13 34 52 23 9th R2 QF
2015–2016 22 11 4 7 37 27 37 6th R4 SF
2016–2017 20 5 3 12 27 49 18 10th R4 R1
2017–2018 22 5 4 13 23 57 19 9th R2 QF
2018–2019 FA WNL Northern Premier Division 24 7 4 13 29 57 25 9th R3 FA WNL Cup R3
2019–2020 * 13 9 1 3 27 19 28 - R3 FA WNL Plate QF
2020–2021 * 9 4 2 3 22 12 14 - R2 -
2021–2022 24 13 5 6 40 17 44 5th R4 W
2022–2023 22 17 3 2 81 18 54 1st R3 FA WNL Cup W
2023–2024 22 15 2 5 59 21 38 3rd R5 R2

Key:
This key provides a key to the abbreviations used in the Seasons table.

Definition Abbreviation
Played P
Games won W
Games drawn D
Games lost L
Goals for GF
Goals against GA
Points Pts
Final position Pos
Women's Premier League WPL
Women's National League WNL
Round 1 R1
Round 2 R2
Round 3 R3
Quarter Final QF
Semi Final SF
Final F
Winner W
Champions Relegated

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 25 June 2024.
Number Nationality Position Name Joined Club
1  ENG GK Emily Batty July 2021
2  ENG DF Lyndsey Harkin July 2016
3  NIR DF Nat Johnson August 2023
6  SCO MF Lauren McMurchie March 2024
7  ENG FW Sophie Domingo August 2022
10  ENG MF Holly Manders August 2023
16  ENG MF Mollie Green August 2023
17  ENG MF Freya Thomas August 2023
19  ENG MF Becky Anderson July 2021
21  ENG DF Hayley James August 2020
22  ENG FW Charlotte Greengrass September 2020
24  NIR DF Ella Haughey October 2023
25  ENG MF Alice Keitley (dual-registration loan with Aston Villa[85]) October 2023
34  ENG GK Holly Mears (dual-registration loan with Leicester City[86]) January 2024
TBC  ENG MF Amy Sims June 2024

[87]

Former players[edit]

Staff[edit]

Current staff[edit]

As of 20 October 2023.
Role Name
Head of Women & Girls' Football Amber Wildgust
Head Coach Carly Davies
Technical Coach Marcus Webber
Goalkeeping Coach Amy Page
Analysis James Flower
Analysis Daniel Corlett [88]
Physical Performance Coach Damien Farrow
Sports Therapist Ellie Hargreaves
Operations Manager Steve Gray

Managerial history[edit]

This section currently includes managers appointed since Nottingham Forest Ladies were integrated into Nottingham Forest and were renamed to Nottingham Forest Women.

Information correct as of matches played up to and including 05 May 2024. Only competitive matches are counted.

Number Manager From To Played W L D W % L % D %
1 Andy Cook July 2019 July 2023 93 62 11 20 67% 12% 21%
2 Carly Davies August 2023 Present 30 21 7 2 70% 23% 7%

Honours[edit]

Club honours[edit]

Nottingham Forest Ladies[edit]

Competition Number of Titles Seasons
Unison East Midlands League Cup 2 1999–2000, 2001–2002
Unison East Midlands League 1 2002–2003
Nottinghamshire FA Women's County Cup 13 2003–2004, 2005–2006, 2006–2007, 2008–2009, 2009–2010, 2010–2011, 2011–2012, 2012–2013, 2013–2014, 2015–2016, 2016–2017, 2017–2018, 2018–2019
Midland Combination League 1 2004–2005
FA Women's Premier League Northern Division 1 2007–2008

[89]

Nottingham Forest Women[edit]

Competition Number of Titles Seasons
Nottinghamshire FA Women's County Cup 1 2021–2022
FA Women's National League Plate 1 2021–2022
FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division 1 2022–2023
FA Women's National League Cup 1 2022–2023

[90]

Individual honours[edit]

This section currently includes honours awarded since Nottingham Forest Ladies were integrated into Nottingham Forest and were renamed to Nottingham Forest Women.

Season-End Awards[edit]

Year Players' Player Manager's Player Young Player Fans' Player Fan's Goal of the Season Leading Goalscorer
2019–2020 Lyndsey Harkin Georgia Hewitt Bex Rayner
Olivia Cook
Precious Hamilton (24)
2020–2021 Lyndsey Harkin Aja Aguirre Katie Middleton Rosie Axten (6)
2021–2022 Lyndsey Harkin
Emily Batty
Lyndsey Harkin Mai Moncaster Rachel Brown (11)
2022–2023 Emily Batty Charlotte Greengrass Charlotte Greengrass (22)
2023–2024 Freya Thomas Freya Thomas Freya Thomas Nat Johnson (vs. AFC Fylde)

[91][92][93][94][95][96][97][98][99][100][101][102][103]

Social media reliability note:
Some of the information in the "Individual honours" table is from Nottingham Forest Women's social media profiles. Social media profiles are often controlled by the organization or individual that they represent, and they may not be subject to the same standards of editorial oversight as traditional media sources. The information has been verified by checking the football club's website and other reliable sources.

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  99. ^ "Forest Women host Sponsors and Presentation Evening". Retrieved 20 May 2022.
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  101. ^ @NFFCWomen (24 May 2023). "Players' Player of the Season 2022–2023". Twitter.
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