Some of you may remember that I’ve written several articles focussing on Newcastle Women’s Football Club and I thought that it was about time that I gave an update on how their season had finished and their plans for the season ahead.
Newcastle Women have no direct links with the men’s club, so they solely rely on donations from the general public in order to raise money to pay for new kit and travel to games each Sunday. This is in stark contrast to how the men’s team operate and highlights the lack of funding that the women’s game encounters.
Last season, Newcastle Women competed in the Northern Women’s Combination League after being relegated from the FA Women’s Premier League (Northern Division). The target for the season just gone was to achieve promotion back into the Northern Division of the Women’s Premier League at the first time of asking and this was achieved on the 1st April 2012 when they faced Sheffield Wednesday and returned home as champions of the NWCL.
I caught up with chairman Phil Eadon to ask him his thoughts about the season and what the future holds for Newcastle Women.
What does promotion mean for all involved with NUWFC?
It means a great deal. A lot of hard work has been put in both on and off the pitch to try and win promotion back in to the FAWPL. It also means flying the flag at the next level in Women’s football and competing with some of the best teams in England.
What are the aims for next season?
Our target is to build on what has been achieved and compete against the teams in this league. The key is still teamwork and a focus on the ladies enjoying playing their football and working together as a team. Top half of the table would be nice. Winning promotion into the FAWPL National division so we can play Sunderland would be a dream but dreams can come true!
What does the future hold for NUWFC?
The future looks very bright. A good talented young squad who like playing football together. Increased awareness of NUWFC should bring discussions with potential sponsors and supporters. More media coverage would be good. Consideration of our lack of a junior section for the future need to be carefully thought through. What options do we realistically have? We need to consider how we can sustain the even increasing costs of running the club at FAWPL level and how it can be funded. Consideration of a home for NUWFC as the ladies progress and attract more supporters and spectators.
How can Newcastle United fans help NUWFC?
Newcastle fans can be proud of what the ladies are achieving. They can raise their aspirations of what they want their ladies team to achieve. They can come and watch a game or two. They can donate a £1 to help the ladies meet the costs of hiring training and playing facilities, the costs of hiring mini buses and buying fuel to get to their away matches. They can get to know who wear what shirt number of NUWFC. Perhaps the most would be just not to belittle or denegrate what they are trying to achieve. Put simply be proud of your ladies team. Talk about it is positive terms and go and watch a game – you might be pleasantly surprised and enjoy it!
It is clear that NUWFC have achieved a lot this season and from Phil’s words that they are club that are developing very well. In whatever way that you can, any support that you give NUWFC would be greatly appreciated.
This is a group of girls that have shown that they are a club that are pushing to make their way into the next level of Women’s football, but they’ll need help to get there!