Football’s original spirit lives on in the women’s game

It was a few weeks in the past that I first began to hit the “refresh” button. Finally, the huge day got here. No, not Springsteen’s UK tour dates. Next season’s fixture listing for Arsenal Women. Sunday, September 11: away to Man City. The first house game every week later, towards Brighton. September 25, the huge one: the North London derby. This will virtually actually be performed at the Emirates stadium, house to the Arsenal males’s workforce, such is the rising curiosity in women’s soccer.Call me a smug early adopter, and also you’d be proper. It was again in February when my then seven-year-old daughter and I first caught the prepare to Elstree and Borehamwood station. A 20-minute stroll alongside the excessive road, a left flip at the BBC Elstree studios well-known for Strictly, and there it was behind the timber and homes: Meadow Park. Normally house to Boreham Wood FC, it doubles as the common house of Arsenal Women. It’s a throwback in time, and in an effective way. Tickets are £8 (£4 for teenagers). Match-day programme: £2.50. Two scorching meals stalls promoting chips and jumbo sausages. Seating or standing so near the touchline that you would be able to really feel each kick of the ball (and occasional dangerous sort out). Families wrapped in blankets to protect themselves from the winter. Teenage ladies singing in the “North Bank” about their favorite gamers. An absence of dangerous language. A spot that feels secure and welcoming to households. READ MOREPlayers who’re humble sufficient to come back to the touchline at the finish of matches. Hundreds watch for a selfie with Beth Mead, Leah Williamson or Lia Wälti, every of them now stars of the Women’s Euros.
As the Premier League turns into more and more elitist and costly, one thing particular is occurring in women’s soccer. Arsenal v Aston Villa was a sell-out at Boreham Wood. Arsenal v Spurs would have attracted 11,000 to the Emirates had it not been moved from a weekend to a college night time. Girls and younger girls now embrace the game in a means they by no means did again once I was a lad. Girls’ soccer is a well-liked after-school membership. Behind our nearest Sainsbury’s, AFC Leyton has ladies of all ages coaching each Saturday morning. The Women’s Euros justifiably bought out months in the past. Prime-time TV protection can solely intensify curiosity. It’s time to purchase that season ticket.

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