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IIn women’s football you will often find men’s clubs that talk a lot more than they don’t walk. Leicester City, however, does the latter. The women’s team were fully taken care of by the club and turned fully professional during the process in August 2020.

Last season they won a first league title and promotion in their first year as a full-time team, winning 16 of their 20 games and scoring 54 goals in the process – 20 more than Durham, second.

The changes do not seem superficial or symbolic. Instead, the club seem genuinely invested in the success of their women’s team. Men’s team manager Brendan Rodgers chatted with the team as they prepare for an elite debut season and manager Jonathan Morgan operates from the office of title-winning manager Claudio Ranieri after that the women’s team has received the keys. at the Belvoir Drive club training ground with the men’s team moving to their new Seagrave base. Club legend Emile Heskey was also recruited as the team’s ambassador ahead of last season.

Morgan was cleared to inject WSL experience into his team for their first campaign in the first level. Forward Jess Sigsworth and defender Abbie McManus have been recruited from Manchester United. England’s McManus grew up as a United fan and joined the club in 2019 after a total of 12 years at Manchester City (in two spells) but spent the second half of last season on loan at Tottenham. Jemma Purfield joined Bristol City and Everton’s Georgia Brougham to bolster the defense. Scotland striker Abbi Grant has arrived from Birmingham, as has midfielder Connie Scofield. Midfielder Molly Pike, who rose through the ranks at Chelsea before joining Everton, has also moved to Leicester.

There was also no room for sentimentality with club captain Holly Morgan, Jonathan’s sister, who retired as a player to take on a first-team coaching role after having got her Uefa A license as she tried to make an impact at the top. Holly Morgan kicked off her family’s long association with the club when she tried out for the team at the age of 11. Their other sister, Jade Morgan, is the general manager of the team and their father, Rohan Morgan, was officially the president.

The club will also be the first Premier League side to host their women’s side at their main stadium for the majority of games, with eight of the 11 home games scheduled for King Power and the other three at the Pirelli Stadium in Burton. when there is a clash with the men’s team – put another nail in the coffin of the idea that such actions are not logistically possible or that the field cannot withstand the additional use.

The 2021-22 Women’s Super League features number 7: Leicester |  Leicester City Women
Hannah Cain and manager Jonathan Morgan celebrate after Leicester landed promotion to the WSL. Photograph: Naomi Baker – The FA / The FA / Getty Images

None of these things guarantee success, but they go a long way in making Leicester a team that isn’t ready to accept being the new WSL cannon fodder. There is a marked jump in the required level between the WSL and the Championship, but Leicester have shown they can compete with top-level opposition in the Cups in recent years with wins over Reading, Birmingham and Manchester United and a narrow 2-1 loss by Manchester City.

Aston Villa are the first and they are hoping to make a statement against the team that were struggling to stay in place last season. With Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United in their opening six league appearances and a Women’s FA Cup quarter-final against City to navigate between the two, they’ll need points on the board to hold their heads high.

The director

Jonathan Morgan led Leicester for promotion last season after a lot of hard work after taking over in the 2014-15 season. He played a key role in the club’s transformation to professional and capitalized on full-time players with a smooth season as the team lost just two games in 2020-21.

Key players

Natasha Flint Was the key to Leicester’s WSL promotion with an impressive 17 league goals and the playmaker who kept their high-flying dream alive. Now that they’re in the WSL, you can expect similar results with the former Manchester City player’s skills being a defensive headache for teams.

Jess sigsworth Brings with it energy for the game, leaving everything on the pitch and is sure to challenge Flint for the club’s top scorer. She has scored 26 goals in 66 appearances for Manchester United and says she moved to Leicester due to the club’s ambition.

Abbie mcmanus: The defender has one WSL title, three WSL Cups and two FA Cups, so he has all the experience to help Leicester. Her voice will be critical in the locker room and she will be a good leader for players taking their first steps in the WSL.

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