Newcastle United set to break record at St James’s Park as Amanda Staveley’s plans progress
Newcastle United Women will return to St James’s Park this Sunday for an Vitality Women’s FA Cup second round tie against Barnsley (2pm kick-off).
The match will see The Lady Magpies play at St James’s Park for the second time after 22,134 supporters watched last season’s 4-0 win over Morpeth Town back in May. The attendance set a record for a league match in women’s football across the UK last season.
And with Newcastle men's first team out of action until December, this Sunday’s women’s match is on course to surpass the attendance record set last season.
Newcastle players get another ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’
Manager Becky Langley said ahead of the match: “When we played at St James’s Park last season it was almost like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and to get a second opportunity is amazing.
"I think it shows the club’s ambition and the way they want to go and they want the women’s team to have that presence and visibility. Another time at St James’s is just fantastic.
“[A bumper crowd] is the aim. We want to get as many people to St James’s as possible. We want to beat the record we set from last season, I think we’re already past it but we’re just urging people to come out and pack the stadium because the more people can get involved, the better atmosphere and the more chance of us getting through to that next round.”
Barnsley looking for revenge
Sunday’s opponents Barnsley are Newcastle’s rivals in the Women’s National League Division One North with the sides last meeting in a dramatic league encounter back in October. Katie Barker’s last minute winner secured a 1-0 win at Druid Park.
But Langley is expecting Sunday's visitors to be ‘fired up’ for the match with a place in the third round and a potential tie against the likes of Sunderland or Durham up for grabs.
“I think they’re fired up for revenge after our last minute winner against them in the league,” Langley added. “They’re tough opponents and they’re driving to make sure their women’s team get to the next level as well.
"There’s respect from ourselves in regards to that but we want to win again, we want to make sure that we get through to the next round and we've got that confidence from Katie’s last minute winner. We want to push on again.”
Newcastle Women are still scheduled to play another match at St James’s Park this season but a date and opponent is yet to be confirmed. So Langley is encouraging her players to make the most of the opportunity.
“You don’t know if this will be the last opportunity to play at St James’s,” she continued. “You’ve got to soak up and enjoy every second of it. I want the players to be proud and have their families watching in the crowd and their friends watching and feel really, really proud to pull on the black and white shirt.
"It’s a privilege to be part of things and we just want to keep providing more opportunities and visibility for girls and women’s football.”
Tickets for the match are on sale now at book.nufc.co.uk/ and are priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.