Football, in Particular, Women’s Football

Things have changed so much in women’s football over the last year. Was it really this time last year H was doing Wildcats football sessions every week? Those stopped. You only get funding from SSE for a certain amount of time, so our popular sessions were pulled and moved further away; so we stopped because it was too far.

Wembley Stadium Women's FA Cup Final 2016 seats

Fortunately sessions with our same coach started up the road at Whyteleafe, and a few of us parents who stayed in touch came back. When you’re looking for a session and don’t necessarily want to be too competitive, it isn’t easy. There isn’t a huge amount here, but there are groups.

Then, before you know it, it’s that time of year again – the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final. This year we have Manchester City vs West Ham. Now, obviously were this the men’s team I’d have a problem cheering for either team, but this is the women and so we’ll go along, enjoy a game of football and cheer everyone. Football is funny like that. (it also doesn’t help that West Ham beat Tottenham yesterday)

Wembley Stadium SSE giant sponge hands, football, Women's FA Cup Final 2015

We have our tickets and we’re going in a group from our Saturday football group which is brilliant. It’s something I’ve always wanted. I like doing things in a group and being with friends; we haven’t really had a group of our regular friends who enjoy going to games. I’m hoping that they’ll have special events on like last year, when H got to meet Lionesses Fara Williams and Mary Earp.

H with Fara Williams and Mary Earp

It’s the fifth year at Wembley, and we’ve been to all of them. It’s a fantastic day, kids go free and adults are at the ridiculously low price of £15. I did a group booking and got tickets at £7.50 each.

I’m hoping the weather holds up now!

Then there’s Tottenham Women – rebranded this week from Spurs Ladies (hurrah! about time too) who are on the verge of gaining promotion to the Women’s Super League. We’ve had a great season across both Tottenham teams; I can only hope that the women get to play at the new White Hart Lane stadium sometime soon.

Tottenham women in their play off match vs Blackburn Rovers when they won and gained promotion to the Women's Championship.

If Tottenham do go up then we’ll be able to watch them more often. We have Chelsea and Brighton within a drive-able distance. We’ve seen them play a few times now, H got to meet the players when they played against Crystal Palace.

I’m still unsure if the money aspect of it all is too soon. Clubs like Yeovil Town who have a strong women’s team are struggling and can’t rely on support from the men’s club. Whereas teams like Manchester United bought their way back into the Women’s league because of theirs. It doesn’t seem right, though encouragingly there aren’t relegations happening this season to expand the leagues.

The next few years are going to be interesting….

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