The enthusiasm for women’s football doesn’t have to stop at the end of the FIFA Women’s World Cup! Last week kicked off FA Women’s Super League 2019 and with first time title sponsor Barclays – anticipation is high.
Week one of FA WSL commenced with three local derbies on the weekend of the first Premier League break. A record-breaking crowd of 31,213 attended Manchester United vs Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium and 24,564 at Chelsea vs Spurs.
Particularly in men’s football, there are three rules when it comes to choosing a team: choose the team your father/parents support, choose your local team, or get one free pass to choose whichever team you like and stick with them until death do you part.
For a lot of cases this third option can result in 8-year-old kids saying, “I like blue so I’m going to support Chelsea” and 20 years later wondering why. But occasionally there’s the “Glory-Hunter” who supports whichever team last won the league.
But things are different this time, you’re older and wiser and you want to continue supporting women’s football only to discover you don’t support a women’s team!
Have no fear. Below are a few dos and don’ts to help pick the women’s football team just for you:
Do decide: Player or club?
In Western culture it’s a lot more common to support the club for all its players, managers and sponsors worth. But we’re seeing more and more in Eastern culture and amongst young people that supporting an individual player is preferred. Specifically, because you like them and are willing to follow them from club to club – Cristiano Ronaldo is a prime example of fans moving with him to Juventus F.C. Neither way is wrong, nor right – but you do need to make a choice!
Do some research:
If you decide to follow one specific player’s football journey, do some research on them. Follow their social media channels and see how they interact with fans, look at the clubs they’ve previously played for and watch some of their interviews – do you like them as a person as well as for their football skills?
If you choose to follow a club, do some Googling on them. Check out their website, what their club “morals” are, how they help their local community and who their sponsors and manager are. All this will help build a better idea of if you agree with their football values and why you should follow them.
You don’t have to follow in the footsteps of the men in your life:
Stereotypically, most men support a football team very enthusiastically and see it as a big part of their identity. Therefore, when you say, “I’m looking to start supporting a football team” they will plug their allegiance as “the greatest team the world has ever seen”. Don’t listen to this. Just because the people you’re surrounded by love Liverpool FC doesn’t mean you have to as well!
Don’t pay attention to the stereotypes that dominate male football:
Men’s football comes with its own politics, good guys and bad guys. Don’t let this phase you. Each women’s team has their own history, is building their own success and although they borrow the men’s badge, own an entirely different culture.
Do take location into consideration:
Although it shouldn’t by any means restrict your decision making, do take location into consideration. Part of supporting a team is going to matches and experiencing the atmosphere whilst joined by like-minded people. Plus, women’s football matches cost far less than men’s – Arsenal men’s season ticket can cost between £891 and £1768.50, whilst Arsenal ladies season ticket costs just £60 – with a £1 cuppa tea! A more local team allows you to join in on local derbies more and regularly go to games.
Do go with your gut:
If you have it in your gut to just support a certain team; you’ve done the research; you like the players, or you just have a hunch they’re the team for you – do it. The important part is that you’re a fan of women’s football and are supporting their equal right to play – and win! At the end of the day, it’s your choice.
Written For the Prism Team by Katie Thomas