Following the curtailment of the 2020/21 campaign in March, Southampton FC Women have successfully applied for promotion via the Upward Club Movement process and will now compete in FA Women's National League Southern Premier from 2021/22.
With the FA Women’s National League Division One South West cut short for a second successive season due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, clubs were granted the opportunity to apply via the FA to move up one tier within the Women’s Football Pyramid.
Sitting undefeated at the top of the table in both 2019/20 and 2020/21 prior to the suspension of action, Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side have seen their on-field dominance rewarded with promotion to the third tier of the Women’s Football Pyramid.
The successful application confirms a second promotion in three seasons with Saints still yet to taste league defeat under Spacey-Cale’s tenure.
They now sit only one tier below the FA Women’s Championship, and two below the elite FA Women’s Super League.
Commenting on her side’s promotion, Spacey-Cale said: “It’s a great feeling to know that the hard work and results that we’ve had over the last two seasons has come to fruition with the application being successful.
“It’s the next exciting step in our journey. Relief is an emotion because we’ve been waiting, but delighted we’ve got the promotion.
“We got information to say they were looking to allow applications for promotion and the whole club came together to create something which was fantastic. Seventy five percent of it is weighted towards on-pitch results and with that alone we were in a really strong position having not lost in two seasons.”
Spacey-Cale added: “The more the women’s programme grows the support is there with us across the board, everybody we talk to is interested. That gives you that glow and that feeling of ‘we really belong here’.
“The promotion gives us a chance to challenge ourselves, but also payback some of the support we’ve had throughout the club.”