A crucial win last weekend for Nottingham Forest has put down a statement heading into the few remaining games of the season.
Relief was the over-bounding emotion in the late stages of Sunday afternoon after a 3-0 win over fellow promotion chasing rivals, Burnley.
Nottingham Forest Women have been in action since 1990 and are seen as one of the most historic clubs in women’s football. The ambition of the club? ‘To be at the best of everything it does and compete at the highest of levels’ – a statement from the club itself from their website.
And this ambition from up above is certainly formulating together down the players and coaching staff on the pitch. Forest competes in the third tier of women’s English football as they serve in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division. The East Midlands club have pulled seven points clear of Burnley following a convincing win, however, they remain six points ahead of Wolves. And as anyone knows in football, surprises don’t act as surprises. Which is why in this instance, Forest needs to maintain a level-head to finish the job.
At The Woodwork, we have previously touched on Wolves and their ambitions – the Midlands side eased past Huddersfield 5-0 to help keep the pressure on their promotion rivals. This is a club who are growing both on and off the pitch. Throughout the years of Forest Women, they have built a female development pathway as well as adding a reserve and development team to ensure that quality and progression remains for young players throughout the club. What does help however is that as of 2018, they are receiving financial backing from the men’s side; this backing however extends above financial motives. Nottingham Forest Women are also taking advantage of the club’s resources like equipment and training centres – a collaboration that aligns with the likes of West Bromwich Albion.
Forest Women manager, Andy Cook is overseeing gradual progression since taking over the ranks back in July 2019. Cook has made history by becoming the first full-time women’s coach at the club. During his spell in charge, he has led Forest to 2nd place in the division. Cook and co will be looking to go one place higher this time around.
Of course, if Forest wants to progress on-the-field, it is no easy feat to achieve. If Forest were to win the division come May this year – much so like Wolves did last year, then the club will be forced to compete in a play-off match against the winners in the league’s southern division. The winner of that all-important play-off match will then have earned the rights to participate in the Barclay’s Championship. An unfair scenario to be placed in after performing so well across the season; however, it will be a monumental reward for Andy Cook and Nottingham Forest if they were to overcome one final battle.