An interview with NUWFC’s Phil Eadon

Check out the ladies.
Carrying on from my article about the Women’s Super League, I thought it was about time to write another one about Newcastle United Women’s football club.

I got in contact with the club over Twitter asking to do an interview which they happily agreed to do. I subsequently had a phone conversation with the Chairman, Phil Eadon. He is a very lovely guy who answered all my questions about the club and Women’s football in general.

It’s this kind of approach that is endearing about the Ladies game. There are no egos and there is a much more ‘down to earth’ feeling about things. Could you imagine Derek Llambias courting a phone conversation with me? Neither can I. Anyway, here is what Mr Eadon had to say.

Can you give me some background about the club?

The club has been around for twenty years and formed in 1989 with our main rivals being Cowgate Kestrels. Four years ago an agreement was reached with the directors of Newcastle United for the women’s team to use the name Newcastle United Women’s Football Club.

What league do the Women play in?

The team currently play in the Northern Women’s Combination League. We lost the first two games against Bradford and Liverpool. However the team have won their last four games and are currently 6th with a total of 12 points. The game against Middlesbrough could see us go second in the league.

What are the aims for this season?

The aim is to consolidate the side and rebuild our youth programme. We want to make sure that the players who are playing for us are enjoying playing football. We would also like to avoid injuries as last year we lost several key players. To bounce back up to the Women’s Player League straight away would be another aim for this season.

Are the derby matches fiery affairs or are they generally great games?

The derby games we play are competitive, full of commitment and passion. I don’t see them being as dirty at all. Unfortunately we won’t have the opportunity to play Sunderland since we were relegated from the Premier League but we have derbies against Middlesbrough and South Durham which can be very competitive.

When we played Sunderland in a Derby match they were very competitive matches. A lot of the players have grown up together, played in school and county teams and even playing for Sunderland and Newcastle. Once the teams are across the line the games are very competitive.

What has been the most memorable game for Newcastle United Women’s team?

One of them has to be when the team made it all the way to the FA Umbro Fives tournament down at Wembley. The team actually won the tournament and it was great to see ‘Newcastle United’ on the screens and with a piece of silverware as it has been a long time since the men have won anything!

From winning that the club did allow us to come out onto the pitch at half-time in the Birmingham match and parade the cup we had won at the tournament. There was a fantastic reception from the crowd and that was amazing for the team to hear and see the support they got from the fans.

The other memorable game has to be when we reached the Quarter finals of the FA Cup vs Everton in 2009. Great for the team to get so far in the cup competition.

We have some fans in America who have commented about the Women’s game and how big it is there. What do you think to this?

They aren’t marketing the game; the appeal involved over there is for the love of women’s soccer. At the end of the day it is about having fun and not portraying them as butch male players. Americans sell them as athlete’s who are able to provide a good standard of football. This is want we want to achieve, we have set up donations on our website to help us buy our kit as we have to do that ourselves. The donations go a great way to helping the team out.

Does being a separate entity to the men’s team hinder you?

The entity can be a double-edged sword. Very few clubs actually contribute to their ladies team. All ladies who play for the team are Newcastle fans, born and bred in the area. They feel very privileged and proud of being about the team and understand the importance of playing in a black and white shirt.

Do you think the women’s game has grown a lot in the last couple of year?

The game is growing but there are a lot of challenges at the moment. Financial constraints is one of these, not all clubs contribute to their women’s team. It has to be treated seriously in the way that we promote the game. We want to encourage girls who support Newcastle to look up to Women’s players instead of a bearded male footballer.

If you asked all the supporters who support Newcastle United about Newcastle Women’s I would think only 10% would have heard of us. We don’t want to convert them as some male supporter would not want to go to a women’s game at all, it’s far better to attract girls who are of an age that are playing in women’s football.

There’s also the fact that the both centre of excellences have been cut in Sunderland and Newcastle which stops some players from getting into the ladies team. We have seven and eight graduates from our centre of excellence and it’s a shame these have been cut. There is a lot of passion for football here and Sunderland’s disappointment of not getting into the Women’s Super League is further evidence of the constraints that are with women’s football.

We are not sure what is going to happen with bringing players through in the North East. We are very keen to support the growth and development of women’s football nationally and especially in the North-East.

I would like to say a huge thanks to Rob Eadon for taking the time to be a part of this interview. It was great to find out more about Newcastle United Women’s Football Club. The club are on twitter so why not give them a follow to keep an eye on how their season goes? You can follow them @NUWFC.

Even better still, why not go and check it out yourself? It’s abundantly clear that they would value your support!

About Zoë Vicarage

A lifelong Newcastle fan. Currently exiled in Sunderland studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland Follow me on Twitter: @ZoeVicarage

45 thoughts on “An interview with NUWFC’s Phil Eadon

  1. I hate to do this cos you’ve done a good article but because Toonsy is busy I would like to throw open another issue which may provoke debate.

    There seems to be a growing concern that Tiote is losing his way this season.

    Could that have anything to do with him missing Nolan or Barton playing alongside.

    It appears this season he’s doing exactly the same in terms of tackling but is holding onto the ball and losing it.
    Is it because Cabaye is hiding?

    Me thinks so.


  2. Good article zoe!

    Troy i disagree tiote has been fasting for the last month and i do think for a sportsman especially that will effect you.

    I think cabaye has been handed too much reponsibility too soon and if he had someone like gosling in there we would see less pressure on the CM’s.

    Cabaye’s best role is more attacking so would free him up in terms of ‘creativity’


  3. Cabaye roll as attacking m/f would work better if Shola was told to play in the hole, and then fill the hole in, Cabaye would have all that space to run into.


  4. Great article Zoe.

    On a different note, did anybody watch ‘who do you think you are’ on BBC1 last night showing Alan Carr’s history.

    We all know about Alan’s dad Graham as our chief scout but it turns out that his dad Wilf used to play for the Toon in the late 20’s. Just shows how much passion Graham has for the club and will work his hardest to uncover more gems.

    Those in the uk can watch it on the iplayer, first 10 minutes are Toon related


  5. “Toonale
    September 15, 2011 at 10:42

    Cabaye roll as attacking m/f would work better if Shola was told to play in the hole, and then fill the hole in, Cabaye would have all that space to run into.”

    Na… Cabaye’s role as an attacking m/f or dm/f would work better if Shola was told to feck off to the reserves.
    That would mean Cabaye actually has someone to pass to who is moving or quick enough to beat an offside trap.


  6. Troy Stavers

    I think its more to do with the fact:

    – Tiote and Cabaye have hardly played together, Tiote was stuck in Africa, and Cabaye was in Holland for preseason.
    – Tiote has been sussed with his little turns and is closed down quickly, so he needs to get rid of the ball quicker.
    – Our strikers, especially Shola are so imobile that the only pass Tiote ever has when he looks up is backwards or sideways and so he tries to beat the first man and create his own space which has got him in trouble. I’ve seen Colo and Taylor do the same thing.

    Quite frankly, I think Shola is so fecking bad he causes half the problems because its like playing 10 vs 12 on the pitch. 🙂


  7. I honestly believe that is one of the lamest excuses I’ve heard apart from Boumsongs boots being Ill fitting!

    Does Pardew consider the following before he picks his side;
    Is he fit enough to play? Yes, then he plays.
    No. Then he doesn’t play.

    What on earth has Ramadan got to do with it. ?

    They all eat during the month. They just do it at different times.

    I don’t accept that excuse one bit and clearly Ba, Tiote and Pardew don’t.

    Tiote looks to have no outlet and Cabaye should be screaming for that ball.

    He’s hiding, whether it being not match fit, adjusting to the pace or just not good enough.
    I haven’t made my mind up yet .


  8. @JJ

    Why is it Tiotes fault all of a sudden ?

    They only thing that’s changed is the personnel around him.

    Barton never stops looking for the ball and demands it to his feet or he does something about it.

    Barton is a miss already for me. I just hope Cabaye steps up to the mark or everything I feared will come true.

    Grandma Baba warned me.


  9. Troy

    How often did people accuse Nolan of hiding during games because he was unfit or slow, playing alongside Tiote?

    Remember Tiote hardly ever played next to Barton, Barton was on the wing.

    So perhaps it has more to do with Tiote and less to do with Cabaye?


  10. There’s something really refreshing about women’s football.

    We have a live women’s national league game on free-to-air tv each week and I got along to the Brisbane Roar women’s games a couple times last season (free admission with my season ticket) – we’re champions of that competition as well btw.

    It’s refreshing to see a game with not many stoppages for injury and free kicks, and there’s hardly any arguing with officials, and there’s hardly any play acting or playing to the gallery. It’s just good honest football being played by people who enjoy the game, and with not inconsiderable skill at times too.

    I have to admit to being a recent convert to the women’s game, but I think I’ll be watching more of it in future


  11. Shola bashing back in fashion, eh. Yawn.

    (Actually he’s not really played a goodun since his MOTM performance almost a year ago, but there ya go.)

    Tiote’s been bothering me for a while. Even while many were lauding him last year I thought he lacked vision, kept the ball too long and always passed defensively even when there was a player on a run to pass to.

    I’d rather see Guthrie in there. For some reason he gets stick, but when Tiote was suspended… again… he did a great job for us.


  12. Tiote and Cabaye both had shockers at QPR, but let’s not judge too much on that. Overall I think Cabaye has taken to prem footie well. Against QPR, though, Tiote was really awful; hardly ever pulling off a tackle and releasing the ball successfully. Don’t know what’s wrong with him but it is a worry.

    If Guthrie’s fit, put him in and let Tiote get his head together; that was a long time training on his own in Africa and he clearly needs time to get spun up to his best again.


  13. Whumpie,

    To be fair, I’ve been bashing Shola continuously for about 8 years now. 😉 and I will only tire of it when he leaves.
    Its actually so bad that I’m almost disappointed when he scores because it means he’ll get another game!

    With regard to Tiote, what how he comes alive sitting in front of a back four with a five man midfield. He starts to play well.

    The second he is put into a four man midfield he starts playing shit. Because he isn’t that type of midfielder!

    If we play a 4-4-2, it just doesn’t suit us at all because Tiote is closed down quickly and he doens’t have support around him. Not because Cabaye is hiding. But because both our strikers play high.


  14. @JJ
    You say;
    Cabaye looked great in pre season.

    I say;
    No he didn’t and I kept pulling people up for making those comments.
    He looked no different to what he does now.

    Tidy, plays the odd good pass but in general the game passes him by.

    He will get stronger, no doubt, but I’m talking about here and now and I feel Tiote is suffering for it.

    Ramadan doesn’t even play in midfield!!!!!!


  15. Troy

    I tend to agree to a point, but I when I say great I think he’s done the role that was expected of him.
    Neat and tidy, good passer, don’t pull out of a challenge, and decent engine.

    Although, in the competitive games he has looked to have tired quickly apart from the Scum game.

    But I think its going to be like this for a while yet. And I think the same will happen with Ben Arfa. Which you will see a bit later in my article.

    We, in theory will have, 1 Santon 2 S Taylor 3 Cabaye 4 Obertan 5 Ben Arfa 6 Gosling 7 Best 8 Ba 9 Sammy Ameobi.

    Thats NINE players in our main squad that have hardly played a competitive game together, or no more than 10 games together, with a stuff up of a pre-season.

    Surely you must understand that is going to take up to half a season for these players to really gel.

    And yes, I agree if you thinking there were to many changes. Its a big risk and thats why I’ve very grateful we have 8 points already, because even with those eight points, I am still very worried. But we can’t blame the players for that… They didn’t cause the mass exodus.

    We can’t even blame Pardew, he wanted the players that left to stay. We can only blame those football geniuses Lambias and Ashley.


  16. Think Cabaye has show glimpse’s that he could be a very good player for us , but Troy is right way too early to judge him either way.

    Not sure what went wrong at QPR but we were shocking. We just hoofed the ball up to the front two who had little or no support from midfield , we would lose the ball and qpr just kept coming back at us. Hopefully we dont continue that form on sat and we can get another result to keep up our good start to the season


  17. @JJ

    You miss my point.

    I was only highlighting that instead of criticising Tiote for his performances I believe he is suffering because Cabaye is struggling to find his feet for one reason or another .

    I’m certainly not writing him off but judging him so far on what I’ve seen.
    Of all the new buys, he’s the only one who I think has a chance .

    I am seriously underwhelmed by the other buys.


  18. After reading Blackburn fans are going to protest to get Kean sacked , anyone els hoping the stick by him until after we play them? 🙂


  19. Ye Rodz

    All all very well selling established players and replacing them with younger better versions, but not too many at a time because then you end up having to carry six or seven players all trying to settle in, which is just impossible.


  20. JJ, took the worms right out of my mouth. Getting shot of Carroll, Nolan, Barton and Enrique all at (more or less) the same time is a massive gamble on fatty’s part. Especially when said players provided and scored a huge chunk of our goals between them.


  21. ….btw, apologies for drifting off topic Zoë, I did read your article. Nice one for putting the lasses in the spotlight, and giving them a shout out. I never knew they existed, if I’m honest. Howay the lasses!


  22. @rodz

    Righto! I never knew they existed!
    You had in the bushes naked every home game!

    I dispute your remark about them being younger better versions.
    Younger maybe.
    Better? Long way short of Carroll, Enrique, Barton and Nolan for me, so far.

    Many fall in the same trap. Because the club claim they are stars in the making and are foreign then that is what they are.

    Seen it all before with countless players who slowly come in with a bang and then are
    shipped out sneakily within a year or so.


  23. Quite amusing actually that their chairman Phil Eadon’s name sounds like ‘filly don’ (teacher of highly spirited young women).

    I’ll get mi coat…….


  24. At least Coloccini is confident anyway:

    “I do not have any worries about our attacking. I know we have a side that is capable of creating chances and scoring goals and you will see that in the next few games.

    “It was difficult on Monday because I thought QPR played a very good game and prevented us from creating too many chances. They pressured the ball very well.

    “But I don’t think there is any issues in terms of us creating things – we scored three goals in the two games before that.

    “We have very good creative players. We have strong attackers and strong midfielders – I really don’t think there will be a problem in terms of scoring goals.”

    ….from The Northern Echo.


  25. milesstarforth Miles Starforth
    Davide Santon has a knee problem & will have a scan later today. #nufc
    1 minute ago
    Lee Ryder
    lee_ryder Lee Ryder
    #nufc Davide Santon undergoing scan after knee injury
    1 minute ago
    Lee Ryder
    lee_ryder Lee Ryder
    #nufc AP “Davide Santon has hurt his knee in training and will be going for a scan”
    2 minutes ago


  26. JJ – you make an interesting point @ 18, but Tiote did ok in a 4-4-2 last year. Doesn’t mean he won’t be better in a 4-5-1, though – it would make sense.

    I think it was a combination of his pre-season (or lack of), new faces to work with, and being in a 4-4-2 up against a 4-3-3 with good wingers.

    I’d still rather see Guthrie if he’s going 4-4-2; much better vision and less likely to dally on the ball when there’s a good pass to be made.


  27. Santon injured his knee in training today and is going to have a scan. Hopefully he’s not done anything to his ligaments or else its gonna rule him out for a long long time. The horrible luck we have. Aaaarrrrghhhhhh..


  28. @rodz

    Quite amusing actually that their chairman Phil Eadon’s name sounds like ‘filly don’ (teacher of highly spirited young women).

    I’ll get mi coat…….

    To be fair, your mind works in mysterious ways but that was a good observation, though I had to read it a couple of times.


  29. ….indeed, Deepak. We all remember what happened to M*chael Ow*n. Crossing every digit on my body it’s only a minor knock. We’re so badly missing a decent LB (or right back for that matter).


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