This Friday marks three years since the founding of the London City Lionesses.
From the team’s first ever game, a 2-0 win away to London Bees, to the most recent, a win against Blackburn at Princes Park to secure second place in the FA Women’s Championship, it’s been a remarkable and rapid rise for the club.
The first, and still only, fully independent, professional women’s football club in London, the establishment of the Lionesses back in 2019 by our Chair Diane Culligan, changed the women's football landscape.
Speaking on the founding of the club three years ago, Culligan said:
“The ambition for this team is unbounded.
“Financial success, personal success and playing success are interrelated and what drives success for a women’s team comes from different kinds of strength than it does for a men’s team.
“We believe that there is a unique and different approach that the Lionesses can take to build that success.”
In the three years since the club's inception, the Lionesses have racked up 27 wins in the FA Women’s Championship, scoring 79 goals along the way against 15 different sides in the league.
Away from the first team, these three years have also seen, not only the founding of the academy program, but also the first league titles and cup wins for U18’s, U16’s and U14’s playing under London City Lionesses badge.
The development team have acquitted themselves well within the reserve section of the FA Women’s National League and we’ve also seen the post 16 education partnership with Shenfield High School flourish this year. Footballing success, across the Academy and Shenfield year groups, bodes well for a continued bright future for the club.
Whilst talent development is obviously important and we hope we will see players progress right through to the first team, continuing to build strong links with grassroot community clubs and helping to provide girls and women opportunities to participate, enjoy of playing, coaching and to feel part of something special will remain at the heart of our wider aspirations.
The ambitions of the club have not changed over the years. Promotion to the Barclay’s FA Women’s Super League remains the target , and with the club reaching second place last season, that goal is very much on track to becoming a reality.
Speaking on the clubs birthday and the progress it’s made, Manager Melissa Phillips said:
“The journey at London City has been an incredible one.
“It is truly remarkable to see how much the club has grown over its first three years. I am grateful to be a part of such an ambitious club whose values are at the core of what we do.
“Our aspirations to create a more professional environment and provide players an opportunity to thrive alongside the growing women’s game are truly coming to life.
“Off the back of our most successful season, we continue to rise in handling adversity and always striving towards our ambition. I’m, looking forward to supporting the continued growth and success for years to come.”
With the 2022/23 season already on the horizon, and an exciting summer ahead, the future of London City remains as exciting as ever.
Speaking on the last three years, Culligan said:
“I am delighted to celebrate three years of the London City Lionesses. In those years, we have seen the women’s game grow at a remarkable rate, and we at London City have been proud to be part of that growth.
“As a fully independent, professional, women’s football club, we have always looked to do things in our own, unique way, with our drive coming, not from the actions of those around us, but from our own values. Respect, Pride, Integrity, and Teamwork.
“This most recent season saw many milestones reached for our young club.
“The first victory against a WSL side, the first players to reach 50 appearances, a record high second place finish, and the establishment of our academy programme, providing a pathway for players, from U12’s to the first team.
“These achievements are a testament to the hard work and dedication shown by everyone involved and it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge and send a big thank you for the huge part played by our fans, parents, volunteers, sponsors, partners and colleagues at The FA and County FAs, in supporting the tremendous work done by all the players, staff and board members in delivering the club’s achievements.
So, here’s to three years, cheers everyone.
We look forward to seeing what the next season brings, and seeing you all back with us at Princes Park very soon.