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Reed wants to produce top female talent

Les Reed wants Southampton to develop quality, international players in women's football just like they have a track record of doing in the male game.

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Les Reed wants Southampton to have the same reputation of developing talented players in women's football just like they have done in the men's game.

At the Southampton Fan's Forum last October, Southampton's Executive Director of Football Les Reed outlined plans for the club to have a team in the Women's Super League.

Today, Reed discussed the club's plans to build a women's team for the future.

He said: "It’s become a very strong structure over the last ten years. Women’s football is one of the biggest growing sports in England.

"Connecting with the Regional Talent Programme is very, very important for us building a women’s game for the future.

"We’ve started working with Hampshire County FA, taken over the Girl’s Centre of Excellence and building a girl’s academy. We’ve taken on full-time staff at the club totally dedicated to the girl’s game."

Southampton have followed 'The Southampton Way' to earn a reputation for developing top quality players in the club's Academy.

Now, Reed wants to apply the same philosophy into the women's game and replicate the club's success of developing male internationals by producing young female talent.

"We want to apply 'The Southampton Way' to the girl’s game exactly the same way as we’ve done it with the boy’s game.

"We want to be seen as the developers of young women in terms of football, but also in terms of coaching football and work our way towards Women's Super League football.

"Just like the boy’s academy produced the likes of Gareth Bale, Alan Shearer, Luke Shaw and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, we want to do exactly the same with the women’s game. We want to supply international players.

"So, the best way to do that is for us to be a part of the Regional Talent Programme promoted by the FA, working in partnership and collaboration to develop the women’s game not just at Southampton Football Club but in the south of England."