Technical Director Martin Hunter was quick to express his delight at the appointment of Marieanne Spacey-Cale MBE, after the club today revealed the former England international as its new Head of Girls and Women's Football.
A household name within the women's game, Marieanne's experience is deemed as fundamental to shaping the future of women's football at Southampton, and developing not only the players and staff involved, but the programme itself.
As well as welcoming Marieanne to the south coast, Hunter was also keen to stress the integration of the women's setup into life at Staplewood Campus, and how the future of the programme will mirror the club's first-team and Academy.
"We started this process three months ago, in terms of applications," Hunter asserted.
"What was really impressive was the calibre of candidate that applied, from this country and far and wide.
"We selected Marieanne as our number one candidate because we needed someone with a track record of development. Obviously, Marieanne with her connections as a player and coach has that.
"She's a student of the game, when you look at her qualifications. And she's a high-level coach educator, which fits the bill in terms of the role.
"The Girls and Women's programme will run parallel with everything that happens at Staplewood Campus. In terms of the FDSC, and all the support departments, this model we're pursuing will be the same game principle for the women's set-up.
martin hunterWe want to put the same amount of effort into developing female players as we do male.
"We want to put the same amount of effort into developing female players as we do male.
"We constantly talk about potential into excellence, and pathway and opportunity, and we need to put the same processes in place to produce the calibre of players we eventually want to represent us in the women's first-team.
"It's the same aims and objectives that we've had here for years. With the vast experience Marieanne has, working throughout different levels of the game, she perfectly fits our development plan."