I guess you could say that Preston is the home of women’s football. The achievements of Dick, Kerr Ladies received national coverage last year when a monument recognising their achievements was unveiled at Preston’s Deepdale Stadium.
Nationally, the women’s game has started to take off. Thousands turn up to watch England’s ‘Lionesses’ when they play and you may already have noticed the increasing amount of media coverage around the top teams these days
It appears that many Premier League sides have also recognised the growth potential in the women’s game. The likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Man, City and Everton all have teams playing in the top tier – the FA Women’s Super League. This season Manchester United will also join the fray when their newly formed team goes straight into the leagues at the predominantly part-time Championship level.
If you are interested in watching the women’s game locally, there are a number of teams to choose from.
For the last few seasons I have been photographing the exploits of Preston North End Ladies who play at UCLan Arena. PNE Ladies play in Division One North of the Regional Leagues along with another local team, Penwortham Town Ladies who were newly promoted to this league at the end of last season. This is in effect ‘tier six’ of the women’s football league structure, which is a little complex to say the least.
In the League above PNE and Penwortham is another local team Sir Tom Finney Ladies who are playing in the North West Women’s Regional League Premier Division. They also play their football at UCLan Arena.
Move up another couple of leagues to the National League, Premier Division North and you will find Fylde Ladies who play their football at the fabulous Mill Farm stadium. When you get to this level, you will normally find there is a small admission charge to go and watch the games.
So, that’s a round up of the local teams playing in the top few tiers of the women’s game. The season started for Fylde Ladies last weekend when they won away at Sunderland. In September it starts for our other local teams. You can follow the teams on Twitter if you want to keep track of news and all the results and fixtures are available on the FA’s website: https://fulltime.thefa.com/ff