Plymouth Argyle Ladies Football Club (PALFC) is a women’s amateur association football club located in the city of Plymouth in the county of Devon in the South-West of England.
PALFC are also known as ‘The Pilgrims’ and compete in the FA Women’s Premier League (Southern Division). They are based at Home Park, Plymouth, UK also the home of the Football League 2 men’s team Plymouth Argyle F.C.
The home ground of Plymouth Argyle LFC is Haye Road, also home to Elburton Villa F.C., situated in Elburton, Plymouth.
The club was formed in 1975 as a result of a 5-a-side league at the Mayflower Leisure Centre. Two teams merged in order to enter an 11-a-side football tournament in Newquay, Cornwall with the team creating the name of ‘Plymouth Pilgrims’. Following the success of the tournament, Plymouth Pilgrims played in numerous competitions throughout the 70’s and 80’s with the most notable achievement being reaching the quarter-finals of the Women’s FA Cup in both 1976 and 1977.
The club name changed to ‘Saltash Pilgrims’ in the late 90’s and the early part of the year 2000 to reflect their home ground at the time – Saltash United’s Kimberly Stadium in Cornwall. It was not until the 2001–02 season that the club, then competing in the SW Combination League, were invited to compete under the umbrella of Plymouth Argyle F.C., and Plymouth Argyle Ladies were formed.
In recent years, the club has progressed both on and off the pitch which is evident in an improved financial position, an increased media profile which reflects the growing interest in women’s football in the UK, and improved results on the pitch.
The club won the Devon Women’s County Cup for a record seven years out of eight from 2003 up to 2010 also finishing runners up in 2007. Since then the club has won the cup on another two occasions in 2012 and 2014 with another runners up spot in 2013. They have won the SW Combination Women’s League twice (in 2010 / 11 and 2013 / 14 finishing runners up on two other occasions. They also won the Ambassadors Cup in 2008 and 2011
Sponsorship & Funding
Since the beginning of 2006–07 season PALFC have had a number of sponsors. Despite this sponsorship, Plymouth Argyle Ladies need to continue with relentless fundraising to support club needs and activities. A weekly half time draw, weekly match day programmes advertising local businesses and individuals, match day sponsors, and individual player sponsors all provide much-needed funds. The members of the team also produced a fundraising calendar for 2008 with funds going to the club and also £1 from each sale being donated to local charity St. Luke’s Hospice. The calendar was made by a local company You Look Gorgeous and it gives a tongue-in-cheek depiction how the girls might look if they were paid the same as their male counterparts.
For an amateur female football club, Plymouth Argyle Ladies have a fast-growing media profile. Not only do the local press and football websites carry regular features, they have also received national exposure on aolshowme.co.uk and also on the Sky TV show Soccer AM.
Centre of Excellence
Plymouth Argyle F.C. FA Licenced Centre of Excellence started to operate on a full-time basis from the start of the 2007–08 season which would give Plymouth Argyle Ladies enhanced opportunities to develop and progress in order to bring Premier League football to the city.