Sunderland Ladies thank South Shields FC as they depart Mariners Park

Sunderland Ladies are leaving Mariners Park
Sunderland Ladies are leaving Mariners Park

Sunderland Ladies have thanked South Shields FC after they played host to the club's home games during the 2017/18 season.

After playing at Mariners Park for the last year, the club will now return to the Hetton Centre ahead of their first campaign in the third tier of women's football - the FA Women's National League.

In a further boost to their pre-season preparations, the Lady Black Cats have confirmed that they will be returning to the Academy of Light to train.

Mel Reay's side were forced to train in Newcastle for most of last season after being told that the club's training base would be unable to accommodate them.

But new owner Stewart Donald indicated early on during his tenure that he wished to bring the Ladies' side back in house, and such promises have no become a reality.

Reay's side will now be able to train at the Academy of Light while they will also return to the Hetton Centre - a venue which hosted the side for several years and drew in four-figure crowds on several occasions.

Such news was welcomed by club officials and the venue's management alike, but Sunderland were quick to pay thanks to their hospitable hosts for the last season.

Sonia Kulkarni, General Manager of Sunderland Ladies, said: “We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to everyone at Mariners Park for their help and co-operation last season and to all those fans who supported us.

“Having previously played our games at Hetton, we know that there was huge interest in the women’s team and we are looking forward to returning and continuing to grow the interest in women’s football."

Hetton Town Trust Chairman Alex Scullion added: “It will be a pleasure to welcome the women’s team back home to Hetton.

"Hopefully they can once again make it the fortress it was for them in previous years, which saw them win promotion to the top tier of women’s football in England.”

Sunderland Ladies' first home fixture at the Hetton Centre will be against Fylde Ladies on Sunday, August 19 (kick-off 2pm).