Newcastle United Foundation and Newcastle United Women are changing the game for aspiring young players in the North East as thousands of young women and girls enjoy new opportunities through football.
More than 2,340 women and girls have been part of Foundation initiatives during the 2020/21 season promoting the women’s game to players of all ages and abilities.
As part of its dedicated Football Development programme, the official charity arm of Newcastle United offers free opportunities for women and girls to enjoy football and professional coaching through Premier League Kicks and Inspires, after school clubs, football festivals, disability coaching sessions, and more.
And for players inspired by Newcastle United Women, girls can focus on a future in football through open-access initiatives to play including Holiday Courses and girls-only fun days before progressing to the Foundation’s invitation only programmes taking U9s through their teenage years into adult leagues.
Hundreds of Foundation participants will be among supporters watching the women’s team from the stands at St. James’ Park on Sunday, May 1, when the team step onto the pitch for the first time in the club’s history.
Steve Beharall, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “We have been proud to support the continued growth and development of Newcastle United Women since the club formally became part of our Foundation in 2017.
“From players, to coaching staff, participants and supporters, the Foundation and Newcastle United Women are intrinsically linked. Brought together by Newcastle United, we all share a firm commitment to providing opportunities for everyone to play and enjoy football.
“Newcastle United Women playing at St. James’ Park is a significant moment in the club’s history and a game will be know will be inspirational to so many ambitious young footballers in the crowd. We hope they have an incredible day with their heroes.”
Within Sunday’s squad, a number of players kicked off their careers in the sport with Newcastle United and its Foundation.
Captain Brooke Cochrane and forward Katie Barker are both products of the charity’s Player Development Centre for young talent, with winger Erin Nelson crediting her opportunity to play for her childhood club through Foundation football development sessions.
Nelson said: “Newcastle United Foundation helped me get involved in football from a young age and gave me the opportunity to learn new skills and play against others.
“I really hope that the Foundation can continue to grow and continue inspiring young players to get involved in football and fall in love with the game, just as I did.”
Former Newcastle United Women’s captain turned General Manager, Lisa Bell, has led development of women and girls’ football at Newcastle United Foundation for 12 years and has managed strategic growth of the women’s game in the city and beyond.
Lisa Bell, Newcastle United Foundation Women’s and Girls’ Football Development Officer, said: “Our end goal is to provide young people the opportunities they deserve to play nationally and to fulfil their dream of representing Newcastle United and we can make that possible.
“I am incredibly proud that we have more than 140 children and teenagers making their way through our talent pathway and one day they could be part of a squad playing at St. James’ Park too.”
Newcastle United Women face Alnwick Town in their penultimate game of the FAWNL Division One North game of the season at St. James’ Park on Sunday, May 1.
Cash turnstiles will be in operation in the East Stand on Sunday, with entry just £3 for adults and free for juniors. All supporters under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Further turnstiles will be open in the Gallowgate End and Leazes End, subject to demand.
Our team are here to help. Make a general enquiry about the Foundation or one of our programmes, share your feedback or make a complaint.