Newcastle United will make history following Amanda Staveley's bold pledge

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History will be made at St James’s Park later this season.

The stadium, for the first time, will host a Newcastle United Women (NUWFC) league fixture. The final game of their FA Women’s National League Division One North campaign against Barnsley will be played at the 52,000-capacity stadium.

A statement from NUWFC read: “For the first time in the women's history, we'll take to the pitch at the club's city centre home!”

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Co-owner Amanda Staveley – who wants to see the club’s women’s team brought into the “heart” of the club – has been keen for some time to get a game staged at St James’s Park.

Speaking at an FT Live event earlier this month, she said: “I’m passionate to get the women's football really moved back into the heart of the club.”

It’s just the start for the team, which is top of the Women’s National League Division One North - and pushing for promotion to the third tier.

The team, once funded by previous sponsors Wonga, first became affiliated with the club in 2016, and now operates under the umbrella of the Newcastle United Foundation.

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Up to now, it hasn’t had the funding to compete at a higher level, but that’s expected to change.

Newcastle United co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi at St James's Park.Newcastle United co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi at St James's Park.
Newcastle United co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi at St James's Park.

Importantly, Dan Ashworth, on gardening leave ahead of his appointment as technical director following his departure from Brighton and Hove Albion, will help integrate the team further into the club when he joins later this year.

Ashworth is credited with playing a significant role in the development of Brighton’s women’s team. Paul Barber, the club’s chief executive, said last month: “He’s made a significant contribution to our club’s progress in the Premier League and Women’s Super League.”

The Super League must be the aspiration for Newcastle. There’s a lot of catching up to do, but, in Staveley, NUWFC has a big supporter.

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Staveley and husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi recently attended a game against Leeds United – Newcastle won 6-2 – and that backing has given Becky Langley and her players a further lift.

The club is finally on the up – and so too are the women. It’s about time.

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