In case you missed our huge recent news…Hashtag United now has women’s teams! We’ve merged with one of Essex’s top women’s clubs, AFC Basildon, to bring Women’s National League football to the Tags.
Spencer recently announced this on our YouTube channel with a video featuring a few famous faces from the world of women’s football, together with familiar Hashtag faces:
The newly-rebranded team will play as Hashtag United FC Women in the FA Women’s National League Division 1 South East, the 4th tier of women’s football in the UK, and will be joined by Under 23 development and U18 youth sides.
Committing to a women’s team has been on the club’s roadmap since moving into the men’s national league system two years ago, and after pledging to support the women’s game after being inspired by last summer’s World Cup, Spencer decided the time was right, despite the uncertainty surrounding grassroots football at present:
Our goal at Hashtag United has always been to grow the club at a controlled and steady rate with an aim of being inclusive and representational for all. Following the 2019 Women’s World Cup I made a personal pledge to support the growth of women’s football and had been looking for the right opportunity to do so since. I knew the best case scenario would be bringing a women’s team under our wing at Hashtag so I could ensure continuous support long-term. After reaching out locally to see what teams were in need of support, AFC Basildon stood out from the rest right away as a club that are not only geographically very close to our base but are also the most successful women’s team in the county. Upon meeting the committee there I felt we were on the same page in terms of what we want to achieve. They’ve done a fantastic job in getting the club to where it is and now we want to see what we can do working together.
This is a very uncertain time for much of football right now but we hope that by committing to the growth of Hashtag United we can reassure our players, staff, volunteers, supporters, and future supporters, that we will continue to do what we are good at in giving people a thoroughly enjoyable football experience, whether they play for us, work with us, support us or watch us online. This move also furthers the important process of us putting down some permanent roots and providing opportunities to those in our local community, whilst simultaneously bringing more attention to the Women’s game.
Jason Stephens, First Team Coach of AFC Basildon, said of the partnership:
To be successful, you need a combination of on and off-field factors to align. This partnership will not only make us a stand-out brand locally, but it will also enable us to:
1) Compete at the top end of Tier 4 with ambition to reach Tier 3
2) Develop young, aspiring players; our ethos is not only about success, but we take pride in seeing our young players reach the top
3) Provide stability and sustainability, allowing us as a club to plan for the years ahead
4) Bring fresh eyes to the women’s game
Sean Eldridge, Secretary of AFC Basildon added:
We are all really excited for the opportunity to join Hashtag United. After meeting Spencer, it was clear that we shared the same vision to build a lasting, sustainable football club that can compete at the highest level and give opportunities to women and girls in the local community. Combining our experience in Women’s football with Hashtag’s world-class social media expertise feels like the perfect fit and will give the FA Women’s National League the exposure and audience it so thoroughly deserves. On the pitch, we have one of the most exciting young teams in the league and we hope to build on that for the 2020/21 season as we embark on this new and exciting chapter in the club’s history.
Trials for the women’s team will be held when deemed safe and allowable, and prospective players within the Essex/East London area are being invited to register their interest via an online form:
The women’s first team will continue to play home games at Canvey Island FC, with the men’s team moving to Bowers & Pitsea FC after a season at Tilbury FC. Both teams will be supplied by adidas, with a new home kit launching this summer.
Hashtag United’s Commercial Director, Seb Carmichael-Brown, said:
We’re really excited about this next step on our journey; we’ve been wanting to do something like this for some time. We’re hoping we can use Hashtag’s existing audience to help generate even more interest in the women’s game which is still on a real high in this country after last summer’s heroics, and we’re confident that this represents an exciting opportunity for potential partners interested in reaching that audience with us.
You can follow the women’s team here: