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Club News

Palace Ladies : The History

3 December 2016

This afternoon at Selhurst Park the SSE Women's FA Cup first round tie between Crystal Palace FC Ladies and Charlton Ladies takes place at 1.00pm. 

The ticket prices will be £7.50 on the day and Under 12’s will be free of charge with a paying adult.

Ahead of the game we take a look back at some of the stories that have contributed to make up the history of the Palace Ladies. 

Crystal Palace Ladies was formed in its current guise in 1992. From its inception the club has looked to push forward within the women's game, although it is only in the last five to ten years with the wider growth of the sport, that the hard work put in has been noticeable.

Five years ago the current committee and management formed a plan to push the Eagles to the highest possible levels. This effort started with Palace Ladies playing at south east regional level, looking to establish themselves over a period of two seasons whilst they waited for an identified group of the junior players to break through into the first team environment.

The signs were promising when in the first season of the plan Palace beat Chelsea in the Surrey FA County Cup Final with a last minute winner. The Following season Palace almost repeated the feat when they were only just edged out by the Blues in a game that saw half of the Palace starting 11 aged 18 or under.

The plan continued to develop with strong league performances over the first two seasons and included unprecedented performances in the Women's FA Cup during which Palace reached the third round beating top tier clubs two seasons running.

As with many plans there were the occasional setbacks, one of which was a hugely disappointing relegation following two years of solid growth. Whilst disappointing at the time, this situation galvanised the club and made everybody more determined than ever and saw Dean Davenport take the reins as head coach.

With the inception of the FA Women's Premier League that supported the new elite Women's Super League the sport now had a structure and pathway for aspiring clubs. It was therefore essential that Palace established themselves within this system. 

Success was soon achieved when Palace were promoted to the FA Women's Premier League Division One in 2013/14 season. This success started to attract new players as did the move to a training and matchday venue at Bromley FC. The 2014/15 season saw Palace really make their mark on the FA Women's Premier League finishing a credible third in their debut season. With the growth of the club both on and off the field now attracting the support and attention of not only their parent club but many more within the sport, Palace set about the 2015/16 season with one aim, promotion.

Davenport had now created a highly effective unit on the pitch whilst the club in the wider perspective was drawing a huge amount of interest and credit. With a mentality typical of Crystal Palace FC the team set about their task with total dedication and belief for the promotion season. This resulted in a run of games that will go down in history within the club. A season that saw the first team earn the name, The Invincibles, playing 22 League games as they won 20 and drew two.

The presentation of the League champions trophy at Selhurst Park in front of a capacity crowd was one of the highlights for anybody involved in the previous five years at Palace Ladies.

The Eagles now find themselves in the top tier of the FA Women's Premier League and unsurprisingly have already started to upset the established clubs through some impressive performances and results. One of the clubs that Palace have had the closest battles with so far this season has been, today's opponents, Charlton Athletic, who themselves were among the favourites for promotion to the women's Super League. With two draws that have seen the teams share 10 goals already this season and a previous FA Cup tie that saw Palace edged out on penalties after a 3-3 draw. Sunday's FA Cup tie against the local rivals should be an entertaining one. On and off the pitch Palace ladies have become a well respected and supported brand that is emerging as a credible force within the women's game backed by a supportive parent club, a huge number of volunteers and high quality personnel for Palace Ladies, the future is bright and ambition is higher than ever. Palace Ladies are most certainly South London and Proud

The main stand will be the area open for the game in the stadium and all tickets will be available from the CPFC box office on the day to personal callers. 

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