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Women's Football News
So just how far will you go to take part in something you really enjoy……2,713.1 miles? And that is only the away league games.
Add to that Cup competitions, home games and training twice a week and the total mileage is in excess of 4,000 miles a season and that's just the first team ! Add to that the Reserve team and Newcastle United Women's FC players will travel around 8,000 miles a season - give or take a mile or two.
Sunday Match Days for away games normally starts at around 7am when the players leave home to travel to the bus pick up point and some return around 10pm that night in time to prepare for their normal working week. It has even been know in the past for a player to get off the team bus and go straight to work. Training nights can see players leave home before 7am in the morning for a full day at work then go straight to training which finishes at 10pm - so late nights are common place for the squad, although not by choice.
Women's football is very different to the men's game on and off the pitch. The Ladies are all amateurs and combine their playing and training with full time jobs, University, College, Coaching, Refereeing and their families. But it's off the pitch that the difference counts and times are changing but that change can not come soon enough for the Newcastle United Women's Football club whose players go above and beyond the call of duty every week to allow them to play their chosen sport.
Most men's clubs can afford to pay their players a fee for each game they take part in, expenses or a yearly salary but women's football is only just entering that phase and its currently only the players playing in the FA WSL that are paid to play. In fact many of the women competing in the higher leagues of women's football are still having to pay the club a signing on fee and a monthly amount to access the training facilities and cover the costs of running the clubs, this is often between £200- £300 per year. Some players manage to get individual player sponsors to cover these cost, a family member or their employer, some don't.
Companies are starting to realise that sponsoring and supporting a women's team can bring them a lot of benefits. The ladies spend time working or helping their sponsors to promote there cause or their companies. It is not only the players that have to do this its also the Managers, Coaches and Physio team that give their time voluntary and equipment free of charge. Even the committee spend a lot of time trying to make sure the ladies have everything they need to enable to not only get to and from the games but also have everything they need on match days and suitable training facilities while making sure the club stays financially viable.
There are no overnight stays in hotels as the team travel to and from their game on the same day. There are also no luxury coaches to take them to their matches. Fortunately the NU Foundation stepped in at a time when NUWFC needed help to drastically reduce their transport costs and allow the club to use their mini bus at a very reasonable cost which saves the club a lot of money which has been used to support other much needed kit and equipment expenses. Match day food on long journeys is either a packed lunch or a very expensive Motorway services snack supplied by the players themselves. The FA do pay the club travel expenses but this only covers a part of the huge yearly costs to keep the ladies on the road. Overnight expenses only kick in when the club travels in excess of 325 miles and can be a problem as a number of the players don't finish work until very late on the Saturday evening so would be unable to travel with their team.
NUWFC play under the Newcastle United name with a special arrangement with NUFC but that is all as the women's club is not financially supported by NUFC. A number of companies and Northumbria University have supported the club over the last season by offering us help or support (although not financial). The NU Foundation is a great support to the ladies club. Northumbria University have over the last few seasons allowed NUWFC to use their facility at Coach Lane at a favourable cost. Newcastle City Council, Cowgate Sports Club, Sainsburys of Heaton and XS Superbowl (Match Day Mascots Sponsors) are just a few who have also all stepped in and supported the ladies.
The ladies of Newcastle United Women's Football Club are great role models for the young girls currently taking part in football every week in the North East. NUWFC run a Match Day Mascot programme where a local girls football team are invited to come and spend the day with the team watching them warm up, acting as ball girls during the game and then at the end of the match spending time with the team. The feedback from the junior teams is fantastic and the young future stars of women's football often ask if they can return and do it all again.
NUWFC have no Overpaid Underperforming Superstars. They just have a great bunch of talented ladies, with a great a team spirit on and off the pitch, who love to play football and will do everything they can to make sure they step out onto the pitch on a Sunday afternoon to do the best they can for themselves, their club and their supporters. They all truly deserve the success they are currently having……
The next challenge for the team is to return to the FAWPL and on current form they are doing their very best to achieve that goal. The next challenge for the NUWFC committee is not only to make sure that the club fulfils all of their fixtures and meets the costs needed for this season but they are already planning for next season to acquire two new full sets of strips (First and Reserve Team), a set of away strips, training kit, balls and training equipment to name but a few of the items that will be required to start the new season.
Newcastle United Women's Club are currently looking for a strip sponsor for next season so if you would like to be part of a great team with a great future call NUWFC Chairman Phil Eadon on
(0191) 415 7340.
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