No relegation reprieve for Doncaster Rovers Belles
Doncaster Rovers Belles’ hopes of a relegation reprieve have been dashed.
Belles finished last season in the FAWNL Northern Premier Division drop zone but had hoped that Guiseley Vixens’ liquidation would save them from relegation.
But the FA Women’s National League have this week confirmed that Doncaster’s women will be playing fourth tier football in 2019/20.
It had been expected that the Belles would drop into Division One North but instead they have been placed in Division One Midlands.
That means instead of facing the likes of Leeds United, Barnsley and Bradford City, Doncaster will face lengthier trips to the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers, The New Saints (TNS) and Solihull Moors.
Belles won the FAWSL2 title last year but were forced to withdraw from the newly-named FA Women’s Championship for financial reasons.
Their entire senior squad subsequently departed and Zoey Shaw’s team of untried youngsters were unable to beat the drop in their first season in the National League.
Club Doncaster are expected to formally complete their takeover of the Belles this month.
It is not yet clear whether the club will revert to playing home games at the Keepmoat Stadium or continue at Rossington Main.
Division One Midlands 2019/20: Bedworth United, Birmingham and West Mids, Burton Albion, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Leafield Athletic, Leicester United, Long Eaton United, Lincoln City, Solihull Moors, Sporting Khalsa, The New Saints (TNS), Wolverhampton Wanderers.