Durham Women have been Barclays Championship staples in recent times. A side always reliable to finish in the middle of the pack. But should Durham’s ambitions be finally looking to move forwards to a brighter future? Or will the wheels fall of the stability of the club in a downwards spiral?
Originally founded in 2007 under the name of Cestria Girls at a grassroots level, the Northern club then later merged with South Durham to become South Durham Cestria LFC in 2012. In the latest line of new names, as part of the WSL expansion in 2014, the club combined Durham University to form what we know today as, Durham Women Football Club. Or if you like, The Wildcats.
And ever since that formation of almost ten years ago, The Wildcats have formulated stability and a great example of what a well-run club can look like. Durham have always been competitive in the second tier. Finishes of seventh spots and sixth position confirm that. It was only in the 2021-21 season where Durham really tested the boundaries of their capability. That year they finished in second spot – perhaps the most antagonising place of them all. But in all fairness, they were closer to the teams below them than the eventual winners that season. Leicester City.
Looking towards the 2023/24 season, Durham has a huge gap to close if they want to aim for a promotion push next season. Twenty-eight points were collected last season, The Wildcats would need at least another twenty points, or seven wins to finish as champions; based on last season. Alongside every other Championship club, teams will know their domestic dates sometime next month.
The task as hand only gets more difficult as each year passed by. With Reading joining from the Women’s Super League and Watford sealing an immediate return to the Championship, it appears to be an enticing season ahead. Durham as a club must look to strive and push forwards, or else, laziness can start to creep in and soon after, Durham will be looking over their shoulders in a calamity of a fall to the third tier.
That is the worst-case scenario, but it one that can come to fruition unless the club act and show that they want to compete at a higher level. In football you cannot afford to be complacent – and that is proved time, and time again.