Peterborough will be at the pinnacle of women’s football in 25 years’ time if a city club can pull off an ambitious development plan.
A top-level team playing in a smart new stadium are two of the major goals for Hampton FC.
The club also hope to be involved in the creation of up to three new playing facilities, launch many more junior and senior teams, and drive up the standard of coaching available to girls and ladies over the next quarter of a century.
They already have an agreement in principle with a developer and are keen to bring Woodlands Sports Centre in Castor back into full use.
They are also banking on assistance from the Hunts FA, Sport England and the Football Foundation to see their dreams turn into reality.
Hampton chairman Steve Purnell - a man who first became involved in the sport as a parent of a player - is the driving force behind the bold bid to put the city on the ladies football map and is convinced it is a realistic proposition.
Purnell said: “I have been involved in the female game since my daughter joined a team in 2005 and I soon realised just how little support there was for girls’ sides.
“As the years moved on I got more involved in the female game as a whole and the more I got involved the more I understood just how difficult it is for girls and ladies to develop as football players, which has inspired me to devote a large amount of my time into developing opportunities.
“There are three new facilities planned in the Hamptons and we are working with Hampton Community Sports Association, O&H Hampton and Peterborough City Council to ensure these new facilities benefit the club and community to their full potential.
“We are also in discussion with the council to see if we can assist in bringing Woodlands back to use.
“We would like to see the venue back as a prestigious multi-sport facility that will benefit not just Hampton Football Club but the whole of the city.
“Our plan is well on track and we have in-principle support from a developer, local authorities and some financial beneficiaries who are all looking froward to being part of making these ambitious plans come to life to bring high quality female football to the city.”
Hampton’s plans for the future involve a major expansion of their current playing operation.
Next season the club expects to field six junior teams and one senior side, but in a decade it is hoped a staggering 22 sides will be representing the club annually.
Hampton also have a number of projects to enhance facilities in both the short and long-term.
They hope to have access to indoor, outdoor and all-weather training facilities by this summer with a soccer dome in the pipeline for 2015.
Three more grass pitches are earmarked for 2017 before their ‘Tier 1’ playing facility is created the following year.
Much more on the grand Hampton plan can be found in their development document, available at http://www.hampton-footballclub.co.uk/club/News/view/751830