‘Leader’ explains move to Newcastle United team after leaving Sunderland – cites big 'factors'

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New Newcastle United Women signing Emma Kelly has explained her transfer to the club after leaving Sunderland.

Emma Kelly has opened up on her transfer to Newcastle United Women – after leaving Sunderland.

The midfielder yesterday joined the club, which has turned professional following promotion to the FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division.

Middlesbrough-born Kelly had spent two years at Sunderland.

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And the 26-year-old, described as a "leader" by manager Becky Langley, has revealed the “main factors” which drew her to the club, which will play a friendly against West Bromwich Albion at St James’ Park on August 5 as part of the Sela Cup.

The three women's games staged at the stadium have attracted big crowds.

“That was probably one of the main factors that drew me to Newcastle – the fanbase and the support they're getting, and the backing from the men's side to allow the women's (team) to play at St. James'," said Kelly.

"I feel like this is a thing that most female and male teams should be striving to do now. I think that Newcastle have promoted that well. The fanbase and the support we're getting is amazing.

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"To have the chance to play in front of a crowd like that is something that would just be an amazing experience altogether."

The crowd for a Newcastle United Women game at St James' Park the season before last. (Pic: Getty Images)The crowd for a Newcastle United Women game at St James' Park the season before last. (Pic: Getty Images)
The crowd for a Newcastle United Women game at St James' Park the season before last. (Pic: Getty Images) | Getty Images

The aim for the club is to eventually play in the Women’s Super League (WSL), a division Kelly has played in with Sunderland and Birmingham City.

"I don't think there could be a more exciting time to sign for Newcastle,” said Kelly. “I feel like with the momentum and the success of last season, it's going ahead in the right direction.

"With the professional status, it makes it even more exciting. I'm very grateful for the opportunity and looking forward to getting started.

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"I've had experience in the top three, four leagues. Every girl wants to be playing in the WSL.

"It's where the highest standard is at now, and it's where we're aspiring to get Newcastle to."

Newcastle United Women head coach Becky Langley. (Pic: Getty Images)Newcastle United Women head coach Becky Langley. (Pic: Getty Images)
Newcastle United Women head coach Becky Langley. (Pic: Getty Images) | Getty

Reunion

Kelly previously played with Langley for Middlesbrough.

Langley said: "I'm very excited to work with Emma this season.

"I've known Emma for a lot of years, and she's a talented player. She will bring great leadership qualities from her experience in the WSL and Championship.

"Emma also played full-time in Iceland (with IB Vestmannaeyjar), which brings great experience."

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