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The newly formed Manchester City Women's Football Club (MCWFC) was re-launched on Friday at a pre-season event at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
The unveiling was attended by former players and staff of the women's club, Manchester City FC's manager Manuel Pellegrini and the Head Coach of Elite Development Squad, Patrick Vieira.
Formerly known as Manchester City Ladies FC, the club was founded in 1988 by City in the Community. In the 25 years since then, their affiliation with the men's team has taken various forms, culminating in the statement of a formal partnership with Manchester City in August 2012. The Club was later granted entry to the FA Women's Super League in April 2013.
Manchester City Women's Football Club, which will mirror and benefit from its association with its male equivalent, will be structured in all aspects of its operations to take advantage of the resources of the wider organisation - from community programmes, to youth development, scouting, coaching, sports science, digital coverage and first team football operations.
Whilst the event was a celebration of the newly launched team, it was also an opportunity to mark and acknowledge the history of and commitment to women's football at Manchester City with the reunion of the inaugural women's team from 1988.
Speaking of the re-launched Club, Gavin Makel, Head of Women's Football said: "Today is a historic day for women's football in Manchester and I am both privileged and delighted to be able to play a part in the future of Manchester City Women's Football Club. We are building a terrific team both on and off the field, blending existing talent with exciting new arrivals and this, together with the incredible support and access to resources of the wider organisation, makes this opportunity so compelling. "
The team will play its first season at the Regional Athletics Arena, after which they will move to the 7,000 seat stadium at City Football Academy for the 2015 season.
In addition to the re-launch of the women's team, the club also announced their girls community coaching programmes, demonstrating a long term commitment to the women's and girls' game.
The FA and Sport England are joining forces with the Premier League and Football League to provide new grassroots women's and girls' football sessions for 14-25 year olds with professional clubs across the country through the new 'FA Women and Girls' programme. Jill Scott, MCWFC midfielder, will be employed by City in the Community to deliver women's and girls' football sessions.
The FA's General Secretary, Alex Horne, said of the announcement: "Manchester City and other professional clubs' brands will attract more players and we know that qualified coaches will deliver top class coaching sessions just where we need them. It's also a further step for us to try and deliver on the objectives we have set our ourselves over the next five years in delivering the 'Game Changer' strategy."
Steph Houghton, MCWFC captain, added: "It's a wonderful feeling to be part of a new era in women's football at Manchester City. Today's event has been a great example of City's commitment to the game and it was a pleasure meeting the original team; hopefully we'll do them proud."
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