Reading Football Club Community Trust have started fundraising in an attempt to 'save' the Under-14s and Under-16s women's side following the collapse of the youth set-up.

Last week, news broke that the women's set-up is to be significantly reduced due to lack of funding.

An amateur first-team side will drop from tier two to tier five and rules only permit sides in the top two divisions to have Professional Games Academy's (PGA's).

As things stand, the early ages academy, which includes up to under 10s, is under the stewardship of the Community Trust, a separate arm of the club.

In an attempt to preserve more football for girls, the Community Trust are aiming to bring the under 14s and under 16s into their care.

However, due to their charity status, this is currently not possible without significant funding.

Opening a GoFundMe for donations, they have said: "Despite the difficult situation facing our Women’s team, our women’s academy pathway U14 and U16 teams can continue to thrive under the Community Trust with your help.

"We are seeking donations through our JustGiving page  (Reference ‘RFC Girls Football’ in your donation) and corporate sponsorship please email (reference RFC Girls Football)

"Keep the future of the RFC Women shining brightly!"

Chris Berry, Programme Lead at the Community Trust, told the Reading Chronicle: "The women's pathway started under the Community Trust many years ago. The great work that Kelly [Cousins] did to professionalise it was amazing and ground-breaking. We are in a situation where we almost have to start again.

"The Community Trust has a great track record of developing young players and moving them into the girls and boys pathways. We are in a good position to do that with the links we have across Reading and Berkshire.

"We are the caretakers of the girls' pathway up to under-13s so it is only logical rather than it go completely to almost streamline that process.

"Any donations will enable us to stand in good stead to compete with other teams at the Academy level with a professional approach of a couple of training sessions a week, still grounded and still representing Reading Football Club."

Alongside this, it is understood that the club's commercial department are working closely with The Trust to identify sustainable revenue opportunities.