BARNSLEY FC have announced that they will have a professional women’s team from next season.

Barnsley FC Ladies had been based at Oakwell and playing in a kit bearing the club’s crest for several years, but were affiliated with Reds in the Community rather than officially linked to Barnsley FC.

After winning promotion to the fifth tier of English football this season, they will now become the women’s team of Barnsley FC with access to sports scientists and physios as well as playing some games on the main Oakwell pitch.

It is yet to be fully revealed how many times they will train or how many paid coaches and players they will have.

Director Julie Anne Quay told the club's website: “When we reconstituted the board just over a year ago, creating a women’s football programme was one of the most important agenda items for the next 12 months - and with one year now under our belt we are excited to announce it.

"We want to be a leading club in the promotion of women’s football. We believe that football is for everyone, and we are committed to providing opportunities for girls and women to play the game at all levels and play a central role at the club both on and off the pitch.”

Chief executive Khaled El-Ahmad added: “We have discussed this internally for more than thirteen months and it is the right time for a historic club such as Barnsley FC to have a women’s team. We will provide the team with the resources it needs to grow, and we are confident this investment will not only help the team but women’s football in the borough.

“We’d like to express our gratitude towards all the tireless volunteers who have helped the Barnsley Ladies team play football on their journey so far. Their foundation and energy has been an integral part to Barnsley FC making this decision. We’re extremely fortunate to be working with such a well-run organisation and so excited to continue the great work that’s been established with the junior teams as we want to continue to find the best local talent in the area.”