Fleetwood Town can confirm an exciting international expansion following the creation of brand-new clubs in both The United Arab Emirates and South Africa.
Cod Army Chairman Andy Pilley has invested in the pair as part of an international growth plan which aims at developing footballers all over the globe in the coming years.
Fleetwood United Football Club, based in Dubai, who have formally been accepted into the newly formed UAE Third Division, will also link up with an established junior academy, United FC of Dubai.
Following a thorough entry process, the club are delighted to have been handed a place in the League which will start at the end of January next year. The side are due to play their first pre-season friendly as a newly formed club in Dubai on Thursday evening.
Western Cape Fleetwood Football Club will be based out of the Western Cape area of South Africa close to Cape Town and have already begun fixtures in the South African fourth division. Winning all their first four games, sitting top of the table at present.
Both will supplement the superb work done by our Fleetwood Town International Football Academy which sees players from all around the world train at Poolfoot Farm alongside the first team squad daily.
Owner Pilley hailed it a hugely exciting step for the club: “It’s something we’ve been working on for quite a while and we are delighted to finally announce,” he said.
“We are experts at building football clubs and developing players and that’s something we are really excited to do in UAE and South Africa. We’re a forward-thinking club, it’s one thing Manchester City having a network of clubs, but who would have thought little old Fleetwood would go down the same route?
“It’s a real honour for us to be accepted into the new UAE Third Division and I’d like to thank them for their help as we established the new club and look forward to helping football, in general, develop and grow in the country.
“The process to get into the league has been going on for some time now, with more than 200 clubs applying for just 12 places. So, we are delighted our 18 years of experience in football held us in a good position.
Pilley has businesses in both Dubai and South Africa but insists the new clubs will also help Fleetwood Town back in the UK.
Adding: “We are hoping to develop players all around the world, which is something we know we can do. We are looking to share coaches, skills, software, and all the things which we have access to with our international clubs.
“We are starting at humble levels at first, with the aim of developing both the clubs and the players who play for them. Hopefully, we can copy the Fleetwood Town model around the world. All of this will help towards my ultimate dream of making Fleetwood Town FC a fully self-sustainable club as it continues to grow.
“It’s something we are all hugely excited about. Fleetwood fans now have three results to look for on a Saturday afternoon, that’s for sure!"