New Era for Exeter City Women under Club management

Exeter City Women are Champions

Exeter City Women are embarking on an exciting new chapter as they transition to the Club's management ahead of the upcoming season.

After an outstanding performance last season, the team secured their place in the third tier of women’s football – the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier Division – setting the stage for even greater achievements ahead.

This promotion brings several administrative changes. The management of the team will transition from Exeter City Community Trust, where it has grown and developed over the last eight years, to the Club.

The team will play an increased number of matches at St James Park in the upcoming season. Additionally, there are several ground requirements that must be met to compete at this level, and efforts are ongoing to address these needs ahead of the season starting in August.

Nick Hawker, chair of Exeter City Supporters’ Trust, said: “This is a very exciting chapter for the Women’s team and we’re pleased that the Club is in a position to support this move. 

"We’d like to record our thanks to the team at Exeter City Community Trust, the sponsors and the many volunteers who have committed hours of their time to supporting the team and played a pivotal role in its growth.”

“Considerably more investment is required with the move to semi-professional and tier three status, and as agreed by the club board as part of their forthcoming season budget, this forms part of the strategic future plans of the Club.”

Exeter City Women at SJP

The team returned to pre-season training in June. Fixtures are due to be announced in mid July and their first match takes place on August 18. 

Jamie Vittles, chief executive of Exeter City Community Trust, said: “The promotion and subsequent changes where the players are now being offered semi-professional contracts has made it challenging for the team to stay under Exeter City Community Trust, due to our charitable status. We continue to work with the club to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.

“We have developed a female football pathway in Exeter which offers opportunities for girls and young women to play football from just three years old. We’ll continue to develop that provision, which also includes our Girls’ Development Centre, where 200 girls train regularly in Exeter and North Devon, many with the ambition and talent to go on to our Women’s team. We also have an exciting new opportunity for girls in the Junior Premier League programme which has recently been extended to an under 18 league.”

Aaron Wakley, who was co-manager of the women’s team along with Abbie Britton, will remain with Exeter City Community Trust and continue to develop the charity’s female football provision both at Exeter College and across Devon. Abbie Britton has been appointed manager of Exeter City Women. 

Abbie said: “We’ll be eternally grateful to the team at Exeter City Community Trust, and in particular its chief executive Jamie Vittles, who initially rescued the team and then, over the years have built it up to what it is today, alongside the development of girls and women’s football in Exeter.

Exeter City Women Celebrate
“It’s not that long ago that the only opportunity for girls to play was on boys’ teams. Now we have a fully developed pathway for female football in our city.”
Abbie Britton

Abbie added: “Thank you to everyone who has been involved in the success of the women’s team, this season and in the past. Special thanks to Aaron Wakley who I have shared managerial responsibilities with. I’m pleased to say that we’ll continue to work closely as he builds on the brilliant work already done to develop female football under the Exeter City badge.

“Thanks also to Exeter City Supporters’ Trust for their commitment to the team and to our sponsors, we’re so grateful for their support. And, of course, our loyal fans who are just amazing, many of them have stuck with us from the early days. Their support means the world to us, and I know they will be cheering us on again this season! These are exciting times for women’s football in Exeter and we can’t wait to see where we can take this!"

Exeter City Women at SJP