SWINDON Town Ladies have announced a change in club name ahead of the 2019-20 season in an effort to embrace the upsurge of interest in women’s football.

The team will now play as Swindon Town Women, having competed under their previous moniker since their inception in 1993.

The rebrand comes in the wake of the continued rise of the women’s football in this country, capped by the England team reaching the World Cup semi-finals in France again this summer.

Phil Neville’s Lionesses previously played a warm-up match at the Energy Check County Ground in front of a sold-out crowd in the spring as part of their preparations for the tournament.

The committee and staff at Town felt the time was right to adopt a more modern, inclusive name as they seek to build on their status as Swindon’s top women’s football team.

First-team manager Dan Jones said: “This name change represents a huge step for the club as we look to move towards the modern terminology around women’s football.

“Many clubs are taking this step, and Swindon Town are joining this group as we look to push the women’s game forward, into a brighter, more positive and more inclusive future.

“I’m proud to be part of this new chapter in the club’s history.”

The club, who play their home games at Fairford Town’s Cinder Lane, are currently in the midst of their pre-season programme.

They will play their first competitive game as Swindon Town Women on September 1 when they face Southampton Women at home.

Club captain Polly New said: “Changing the club’s name from Swindon Town Ladies to Women is a massive step forward for us. As the top division clubs and leagues are all branded as ‘Women’s’, it puts us on the same page.

“Women’s football has definitely witnessed a turning point in these last few months, with everyone, young to old, getting behind the sport – this means those of us involved in the female sport are finally seeing it get the recognition it deserves.

“For me the new ‘W’ in our name doesn’t only stand for ‘Women’ – it stands for working together, within a team, winning together, but most of all standing together as a whole squad, to bring everyone in as one.”

Club chairman Martin Wheeler added: “With the growth of interest in the sport, and the increased involvement of the Football Association, the game has modernised its image and re-branded itself as women’s football.

“Therefore, it is appropriate that as a club we move with the times and take on the name of Swindon Town Women.”