Looks like Christian Purslow wasn’t lying when he said there were big plans for the Ladies side.
Words by Regan Foy | @FindFoy
When Aston Villa Ladies star Jodie Hutton signed her first professional contract a few months ago, becoming the only player at Aston Villa Ladies to have been awarded one, Christian Purslow sat down for an interview and expressed how much investment was headed the way of the Ladies.
He mentioned that he wanted Aston Villa Ladies to match the men almost, and that a club the size of Aston Villa should have a similar size of women’s side in their game – before saying that the steps were being made on the pitch in regards to that and that things would happen off the pitch too.
A club of our stature should have a huge level of support and commitment behind Women’s Football. That’s what I intend to deliver. I expect us to, in general, increase the quality of our players, the level of support we give to those players financially, and set our aspirations higher in terms of where we expect the team to be playing.Christian Purslow on Aston Villa Ladies
This summer has seen change begin already, much like the men’s side, who have released nine players and signed one.
The Ladies have released two players at the time of writing, with Tasha Baptiste departing after six years at the club. Ria Elsmore also departs.
First team coach Coza Mitchell has also departed in her role, stating that she’d been ‘privileged to develop some of the best female players in the country over the years’. Mitchell will remain at the club in some form, likely the Foundation.
But perhaps the most interesting thing to have happened in regards to the Aston Villa Ladies in the short summer so far, is that they are now advertising for a ‘Head of Women’s Football‘ – someone to provide the strategic direction, leadership and oversight required to truly push the side on to the next level.
This person will be expected to be almost a Director of Football for the Ladies, providing leadership for the likes of Head Coach Gemma Davies as well as budgetary responsibility, recruitment strategy and much more.
It’s great to see that something the CEO Christian Purslow has said, that the club want to invest in Women’s football, is actually going to happen.
Purslow hasn’t broken a promise that he’s placed with Aston Villa at the club yet – and it’s certainly a breath of fresh air.