Sunderland Ladies set to play games in South Shields – and train in Newcastle

Sunderland Ladies captain Lucy Staniforth
Sunderland Ladies captain Lucy Staniforth

Sunderland Ladies are set to be based on Tyneside in a shock development for the team.

The Gazette understands the side have lost access to the Academy of Light where they had been training, and will instead train at Northumbria University's Coach Lane Campus, in Benton, just outside of Newcastle.

And having played their home games previously at the Eppleton CW ground in Hetton, the Lady Black Cats will now play on South Tyneside at South Shields' Mariners Park.

The move from the Women's Super League to being played in the winter, rather than a summer league, will be explained as the decision behind the switch.

Sunderland are also expected to say that the women can't use the indoor barn at the Academy as it is used by the junior development teams, while the outdoor pitches don't have floodlights.

The move to play home games at Mariners Park is also a controversial one, disappointing a lot of the team's fans who live close to the ground. The new season starts in under two weeks and many fans are shocked at the very late switch, with the club having not yet put out any season ticket information.

The team has played at Hetton for close to 10 years.

Despite the women's team only having nine league games to play – although there are cup games to add on – Sunderland feel that they don't want too many matches played at the Hetton ground, where the Under-23s and development sides also play.