Burnley FC Ladies have secured promotion to their highest ever level after earning a place in the new FA Women’s National League One next season.
The Lady Clarets beat Bolton-based CMB Ladies 4-0 in their final game – with goals from Sarah Greenhalgh, two, Justine Wallace and Vikki Eastwood – to clinch the point they needed to win the North-West Women’s Regional Football League title.
Burnley, managed by Matt Bee, remained unbeaten in the league after Christmas, as well as reaching the third round of the Women’s FA Cup for the first time, to complete a memorable campaign for the senior team in the female football programme run by Burnley FC in the Community.
“It’s a difficult level to get out off with the teams coming up from the regional leagues and down from the Premier League set-up and with only team one going up,” said Bee.
“Everyone has had to work hard and it’s a massive achievement.
“I think we needed to achieve something like this – and the FA Cup run we had – and this season the club has really embraced it, which is great to see.
“Now we want to really push on and ride the wave the whole club is on.”
With women’s football under-going a further re-structuring for the 2018/19 season, National League One will replace Women’s Premier League Division One North.
It still means the Lady Clarets will play at the fourth tier of women’s football, with National League North/South, the FA Women’s Championship and the FA Women’s Super League above them in the pyramid.
“It’s going to be a really good level we’re playing at next season,” added Bee, whose side will face teams including Newcastle United Women, Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers.
“The support we have had and the people we have coming to watch on the title run-in has been really good and hopefully that will carry on next season with the more creditable teams in the league.
“Hopefully this promotion will have an impact on the whole club, from the juniors up, with the ladies’ team being taken very seriously.”