Manchester United announced this week that for the first time in the club’s history they have submitted an application to the FA to establish a professional women’s team.

If successful the team would start its life in the Women’s Super League 2, which is the second tier of professional women’s football. Pending approval, the new team would provide a career pathway for players who graduate from the long-established and highly successful Girls’ Regional Talent Club – which has seen 15 graduates playing international football this season alone.

Announcing the news, Ed Woodward said “The Manchester United women’s team must be built in the same image and with the same principles as the men’s first team and offer academy players a clear route to top-level football within the club.”