If you had told me eight or nine years ago that I’d be happily going to Wembley to watch Arsenal play Chelsea in the FA Cup Final, I’d have laughed at you. What on EARTH would I want to go and see either of those teams for? In fact, I’d still say it now if it was the men’s team, as we’re a Tottenham supporting family and their supporters aren’t the most friendly to ours, and vice versa. (apart from the ones we’re friends with, of course)
However, when looking at the Women’s game, it’s different. For one thing, with the smaller crowds, everyone is far more pleasant – and it’s also much easier to meet the players at games (many a Tottenham game we’d hang around hoping to get some autographs…). Knowing this from having gone last year, we bought tickets again this year and last weekend headed to Wembley!
With no preference for either team to win, it was nice going as a neutral and such a great atmosphere for H to experience again. Things were almost identical to last season, we were lucky to get the only goal of the game at our side of the field, H was happy as she got to see Casey Stoney and Fran Kirby play, and as well as that SSE who sponsor Wembley Arena next door, were handing out free giant sponge hands and rattles! It was a great party-like atmosphere, we were sat amongst fans from both teams and it was far more pleasant than when we’ve been to some Tottenham games vs either of these teams on the men’s side.
There was no swearing, no shouting, just cheering, clapping and a good happy atmosphere.
Oh, and the whole thing cost us £20 with something like £2.50 for shipping because I have an NUS card, and adults were £15 – with all children going free. How good a deal is that? I only wish I’d known about it sooner as I’d have spread the word – weirdly I didn’t get my usual email from the FA Ticketing people to say they were on sale.
We had a brilliant afternoon, and H was happy as she saw several of her favourite players.
If you ever wanted to take your child to a football match but were worried about aggressive behaviour or swearing, the women’s game seems to have much less of that going on – and it’s just as fun.
(actually, as a sidenote, I remember taking H to see Carshalton Athletic play, where there was a note for the crowds to remind everyone it’s a family club and to mind their language, while the players cursed loudly enough for us to find it quite comical…. ho hum)
We’re taking H to see England play at the end of the month at Wembley – all our first chance to see Harry Kane play (hopefully!) – something we’re looking forward to. It’ll be H’s first men’s game and I know the atmosphere will be different, even being in the family stand.