The FA WSL Spring Series is about to end, a group of games which bridged the gap between the end of the last WSL1 season and the start of the new one in September. We visited The Hive in North London to watch Arsenal Ladies play Reading Women – our first WSL game.
The FA WSL Spring Series is a set of games running from April to June 2017. It features all the teams from the WSL1 apart from Notts County who folded on the eve of the competition, bringing it down to just nine teams.
We really enjoy attending the Women’s games. It’s a different atmosphere to the men’s, and somewhere I’m happy taking H to. Even the players don’t have potty mouths!
We arrived at The Hive in Barnet. The Jubilee Line runs alongside the ground, it’s probably a ten minute walk from there. As Tottenham supporters we’ve been to Arsenal games and seen how intense it is (I would never take H to one) – is the ladies game different?
It was – their supporters were noisy too. This was probably our first women’s game where we heard constant singing. Tottenham need to up their game now! It was good noisy though, lots of supportive ones and none about their opposition or their North London neighbours (although that’s questionable as both teams don’t play at the same place as the men).
With pitchside seats and an attendance was 870 it was a good turnout for this FA WSL Spring Series game. When you put your rival differences aside it was a great game of football. Arsenal always looked like they were going to score but never seemed to quite do it until just on the 40th minute.
It’s worth pointing out that often the women’s game doesn’t seem to carry the differences the men’s does. It’s people going to watch a great game of football and support their team. You don’t get derogatory terms and you don’t get swearing either. It’s the kind of setting I enjoy taking H to because we can watch football without me getting annoyed.
Two England players who have been named in our England Lionesses Euro squad this summer were on the pitch. Jordan Nobbs and Fara Williams both featured in the Arsenal side; we’ve watched Fara play several times over the last couple of years on television and we’re looking forward to the Euro’s! After England did so well in the World Cup in 2015 I’m really hoping we can build on that and go even further, plus the games are on at a far more sociable hour.
The FA WSL launched in 2011 and has grown in size from season to season. Ten clubs now compete in both leagues, with Tottenham being the newest club to gain promotion to WSL2. The games used to run over the summer months, but will now start in September from 2017, running at the same time as the men’s game.
We love taking H to watch football – and she enjoys watching. I grew up watching York City every week in my teens and Tottenham once I moved to London. I want H to enjoy all aspects of football. It’s great that her favourite players range from Harry Kane to Fran Kirby.
She has watched games for a good couple of years now. I love that there are so many opportunities for girls thank to the FA’s For All purpose. The FA wants to make football available for everyone, and it is certainly getting easier season by season. They want to double girls’ participation in the sport by 2020 which is brilliant.
There are so many football opportunities available at the moment for girls like H. Check out the SSE Wildcats FC’s around the country that are girls-only football clubs. We’re going to be heading to Crystal Palace SSE Wildcats FC soon. H had lessons with Crystal Palace when she was five, so we’re looking forward to trying the girls-only session out.
To find a FA WSL Spring Series game near you, or for details on the new season which starts in September, visit www.fawsl.com.
This is part of the Britmums/FA Project we’re taking part in. We’re being paid a fee for our time, though this doesn’t change our opinion of the game.