WATFORD are set to battle rivals in the Women’s Championship after being given the green light to play in the division in the 2021-22 season.
And Hornets skipper Troy Deeney applauded the Golden Girls who were promoted along with Sunderland after a successful application.
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Watford and the Lady Black Cats have made the step up to the Championship from the National League North and National League South.
And Watford were top of their division in January when their season was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic and football below the women’s top two flights being curtailed.
The double promotion means the sport’s second flight will be made up of 12 teams rather than 11 next term.
And the Golden Girls’ move up has prompted ecstatic reactions from the club’s fans, footballers and staff.
This includes a comical tweet shared by head coach Clint Lancaster who received the news during his wedding ceremony.
Deeney, Ryah Vyse and Renee Hector among the other Watford aces who took to social media to express their delight
In a post to his 162,000 Twitter followers, Deeney, 32, wrote: “Love it, ladies. Congratulations.”
Golden Girls defender Vyse, 28, tweeted: “So happy that after two years of hard work on and off the pitch, we have been promoted.
“Thank you to all my team-mates, coaches, fans and background staff for all the support these past two seasons! Covid hasn’t stopped us!”
And Hector, who is getting back to fitness following surgery on an ACL injury posted: “Championship…we meet again. Amazing achievement by all at the club. Let’s do this!”
Clubs competing in tiers three to six of the women’s game were given the go-ahead to apply for promotion by the FA after Covid curtailed their seasons.
Criteria assessed in applications included points per game achieved by teams, goal difference over the past two seasons,
The structure of clubs, their workforce and the facilities were also considered by football authorities.
Watford Women had been on course for promotion to the Championship in the 2019-20 season when that term was declared null and void in March 2020 due to the pandemic.