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Alan Hardy has provided more details on his plans to set up a girls' football academy at Notts County. The Magpies owner came under criticism for folding Notts County Ladies earlier this year but he has reiterated his desire for a sustainable model of a women's football team. In his weekly Nottingham Post column, he wrote: "The previous ladies team was just an entity on its own and there was no pathway from any junior programme that would have ultimately provided its players. "The only way to build anything is from the bottom up whether that be a house, a business or a football club. "As far as women's football is concerned that starts at junior level and I am told that girls start taking it seriously at under-9s. "They are curious at under-7s, they start to become engaged at under-8s and at under-9s is the time when they really want to focus on the sport. "The three words I love using are attract, engage and retain. "You attract and engage at under-7s and 8s with good coaching and players around them and the aim is then to retain them through their teenage years before they hopefully make that next step up to the women's full team. "Our academy will be starting at under-9s, 10s and 11s this year and we are following the Football Association's latest advice in that elite girls players should be playing in the boys' league. "We are going to be playing in the Young Elizabethan League (YEL) and the great thing about it, as opposed to the women's league, is that the YEL has 10 or 12 different levels in each age group. "Therefore the girls will find their natural level. We have some trial dates over the next two Wednesdays and we already have a core group of girls who want to join us and play for our academy. "We have been blown away by those who want to come and join our journey with our girl's academy mirroring that of the boys. "They will have the tracksuits, the kit, and everything that goes with being associated with a professional club. "The ultimate aim is to have a Women's Super League team, and I have been in discussions with Dan Tilley, who is the Director of Sport at Nottingham Trent University, about the development team that came under the Notts County banner." To read the full article on the Nottingham Post click here. Share your thoughts about this column on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
It's quite commonly expressed to me now at games and during conversations, it would seem the interest in the lady pies is decreasing in interest from the majority of core Notts fans. For me, I like following and keeping tabs on them. I actually think it's a shame that this seasons politics allowed them to become substandard, with a lack of quality signings and then a panic transfer deadline - I do think they've suffered. Yet there's a good following that adapt both the men's team and ladies. I'm hoping that they can revive interest and opinion under Alan Hardy, as it's good for us that we have a ladies team IMO. Where do you stand on the subject? Do you care?