Weekend match report – 8th December 2019

Diversity / NUST Comment - 08-12-2019

Dark and dreary at Druid Park –  NUST Board member Linda Bush checks out ‘United as One’ at Newcastle United Women versus Stockport County – 8th December

Two pm kick off on a Sunday and not even televised! What the hell’s all that about? Two teams looking for points to lift them out of danger at the bottom of the table. Usual rubbish metro service and horrible weather, but hoping to be cheered by a win and seeing the Toon stand up to homophobia through their ‘United as One’ branded fixtures.

There is no traffic, and we get straight in the ground and pitch-side in a matter of minutes. The stadium is quiet, but what’s new, match atmosphere has been severely impacted this season due to low attendance, boycotts, and lack of flags. My 8 year old daughter and I take a pre-match video and hope that her being here has a similar ‘lucky charm’ impact as she did against Man City.

In the torrential rain, the game gets underway as we struggle to position ourselves out of the driving rain. I get chatting to family members of Longy…..how cool is that? My daughter is especially excited, as in our pre-match chat she was really looking forward to seeing them play. The crowd is definitely close to the lowest this season, maybe for many seasons? Wonder what the club will make of that…

Despite the lack of atmosphere, poor weather and disappointing attendance, we thoroughly enjoy another trip to see Newcastle play, and three of the four goals against Stockport were quite outstanding. (what????!!!!! I thought you said 2pm kick off Sunday 8th December….we beat Southampton 2-1) Yes, the men’s team did, we were at Druid Park watching the women’s team. It was my first time and I have to be honest I had pretty low expectations of the whole match day experience and quality on display. My daughter had other ideas, as she woke up excited on Sunday morning saying how exciting it would be to see a ‘proper women’s team play in a proper stadium’.

I had chosen to go along to assess support from NUFC for the women’s team at Newcastle United, and specifically chosen the branded ‘United as One’ day, to see just how big the gulf between the men’s and women’s first team was. Earlier this year NUST members completed a survey, in which only 20% of those completing the survey said they were ‘not interested in the women’s team at NUFC’, that could mean that 80% of you are. The NUST Board believe that the majority of NUFC supporters want to see a successful and professional womens football team in black and white, backed by the club more substantially than in previous years. We will continue to look for improved support and investment in this, as well as many other important areas.