The club was founded in 1992 as Newtownabbey Strikers and became a member of the Northern Ireland Women’s Football Association in 1994. In 2009, Newtownabbey Strikers amalgamated with North Belfast men’s team Crusaders Football Club to become Crusaders Strikers. The club now play in the NIWFA’s premier league, winning it six times in total.
The club has represented Northern Ireland 6 times on the European stage, in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, formally known as the UEFA Women’s Cup. This has given the players the opportunity to travel to countries like Sweden and Croatia, to play top successful professional sides such Umea IK and FCR Duisburg.
The club were the first team from Northern Ireland thus far to host the qualifying rounds of the Women’s Champions League, in their attempts to promote and grow women’s football locally and nationally, striving to show younger players a level they can aspire to.
The club currently has two registered senior teams preparing to compete in the 2015 season, with over 30 players signed; the first team in the NIFL Women’s Premier League and the U19/reserve team in the reserve NIWFA league.
The club places emphasis on developing and nurturing young players through their highly successful youth academy, currently having in the region of 85 girls registered, with the youngest being six years old.
The club boasts some of the countries finest young talent, with a collective of the girls being chosen to take part in the prestigious counties excellence programmes, and also has girls representing the country at every age group on the international stage, including full senior internationals.
The academy has fed players through to the senior squad for many years, with some of the girls proving to be integral players for the first team.
The first team kick off their 2017 season in April the date and fixtures will be confirmed closer to the time.
• Premier League winners: 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2012
• Irish cup winners: 2005, 2011
League: NIFL Women’s Premier League