Sunderland A.F.C. Women

Coordinates: 54°49′17.990″N 1°27′19.800″W / 54.82166389°N 1.45550000°W / 54.82166389; -1.45550000
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Sunderland A.F.C. Ladies)

Sunderland AFC Women
Full nameSunderland Association Football Club Women[1]
Nickname(s)The Lasses
Founded1989; 35 years ago (1989)
(as The Kestrels)
GroundEppleton Colliery Welfare Ground
Capacity2,500 (250 seated)
ManagerMelanie Reay
LeagueWomen's Championship
2022–23Women's Championship, 11th of 12
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Sunderland Association Football Club Women[1] is an English women's football club that plays in the Women's Championship. They play their home games at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground in Hetton-le-Hole, in the City of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear.

Sunderland won the FA Women's Premier League Northern Division in 2004–05 to reach the top tier National Division. After relegation in 2007, they returned to the National Division in 2009 and also lost that season's FA Women's Cup final, 2–1 to holders Arsenal at Pride Park Stadium.

The club's bid to join the FA WSL for the initial 2011 season was controversially rejected in favour of the relatively newly formed, but big spending, Manchester City. This decision led to the departure of many star players (3 of whom represented England in the 2015 World Cup) and is thought to have damaged the development of the women's game in the North East for years to come. Despite this they responded by winning the Premier League National Division, which had become the second tier, on three consecutive occasions and also collected the 2011–12 FA Women's Premier League Cup. In 2014 Sunderland were accepted into the second division of a newly expanded FA WSL. They won the league on the final day of the season and were promoted into FA WSL 1 for 2015.

At the end of the 2017–18 season, Sunderland A.F.C. Ladies were unsuccessful with their application for a license in both FA Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship, meaning the Lady Black Cats, were demoted to the FA Women's National League North, for the 2018–19 season. In 2021, the club made a successful application to join the FA Women’s Championship, resulting in their promotion to join the league for the 2021-2022 season.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

The Football Association (FA) banned affiliated referees from officiating women's football matches and affiliated grounds and pitches from hosting them from 1921 to 1970.[2][3][4] The Women's Football Association (WFA) was formed in 1969 to govern Women's football in England until it ceased to exist in 1993, when the FA took over this responsibility.[5][6][7]

The club began in 1989 as a five-a-side team called The Kestrels.[8] It played its first match in an informal friendly against Darlington Ladies on 26 July 1989[9] and won the WFA Yorkshire and Humberside League in 1990. Over the next decade, they competed in the Northern Premier as Cowgate Kestrels, RTM Newcastle Kestrels and Blyth Spartans Kestrels.[10][11]

In 2000, the club merged with an independent Sunderland Ladies club and the Sunderland A.F.C. men's club to become Sunderland Women's FC after winning promotion to the top tier FA Women's Premier League National Division for the first time.[12][13] The new club was originally financed as part of the established professional Sunderland A.F.C. men's club.

2000–2010[edit]

Following financial troubles in 2004, the women's side was forced to become financially independent. Sunderland A.F.C. only provided some kit and the home ground.

In 2001–02 Sunderland won one league game all season and were relegated back to the Northern Division.[14] On 10 April 2005, they won promotion from the Northern Division as champions. In the 2005–06 season, they finished 9th in the league (then the penultimate position), but stayed up after tying a promotion/relegation playoff against Southern runners-up Bristol City W.F.C. 5–5 on aggregate.

With the emergence of Jill Scott and Steph Houghton, the club began to develop a reputation for producing England women's national football team players.[15] On 6 May 2007, with all their games finished and only having 11 points, Sunderland were relegated after Cardiff City beat Doncaster Belles 3–2.

In Season 2007–08 Sunderland finished in 3rd position in The Women's Premier League, Northern Division, behind Champions Nottingham Forest and Lincoln City. The top 3 were almost in a league of their own as Sunderland finished 17 points ahead of 4th placed Newcastle – who only finished 15 points ahead of bottom-of-the-table Crewe Alexandra.

With team re-building completed, the 2008–09 season began with high hopes for the Wearsiders who had six England youth internationals in their ranks and had recently recruited full England international midfielder Kelly McDougall from Everton Ladies.

On 22 March 2009, Sunderland WFC reached the final of the FA Women's Cup after beating Chelsea 3–0. Goals from Williams (2) and Gutteridge ensured their place in the final against holders Arsenal at Pride Park Stadium, home of Derby County on 4 May. In the final, favourites Arsenal beat Sunderland 2–1. Despite dominating possession and creating several chances, Arsenal found it difficult to convert their opportunities. Arsenal's Katie Chapman scored in the first half, their second coming in extended 2nd half injury-time from Kim Little. However, Sunderland never gave up and scored a consolation goal from Kelly McDougall just before the final whistle. Lucy Bronze gave a superb display at right-back, earning herself the Player of the Match Award for the Black Cats.

Sunderland won promotion to the National Premier Division after defeating Preston 4–0 away in the last match of the 2008–09 season.

Back in the top flight, Sunderland exceeded expectations and topped the league for five months. They also handed Arsenal Ladies only their second league defeat in six years.

2010–2020[edit]

The club's bid to join the newly established FA WSL was rejected on commercial and marketing grounds – leading to the departure of star players Lucy Bronze, Jordan Nobbs, Lucy Staniforth, and Helen Alderson.[16]

Despite the exodus of these players, Sunderland secured the FA Women's National Premier League title with two games to spare, following their victory over Millwall Lionesses on 3 April 2011. They defended the title two further times in 2012 and 2013. In 2013 they were formally integrated into the Sunderland AFC structure.[8]

Sunderland AFC Ladies celebrating after becoming the 2014 champions of the WSL2.

In the 2014 season Sunderland entered the newly created FA WSL 2. On 26 October 2014, they were crowned inaugural champions of the FA WSL 2, beating Millwall Lionesses 4–0 on the final day of the season to finish two points ahead of Doncaster Belles.[17] As a result, Sunderland returned to the top division, taking their place in the 2015 FA WSL 1. Manager Mick Mulhern, who won more silverware for the Sunderland Ladies than all other combined northern football teams (Men and Women), stepped down after 15 years for work-related commitments. He was replaced by former professional Carlton Fairweather.[18]

On 5 January 2017, before the 2017 FA WSL Spring Series, the club announced they switch to part-time players only after three years of having a mix of part-time and full-time players.[19][20][21] On 16 March 2017, Carlton Fairweather was replaced as head coach by his assistant Melanie Reay.[22][23][24] During the Spring Series, she guided the Lady Black Cats to a creditable 5th place finish with her new assistant and former player, Victoria Greenwell. Results in the Spring Series included victories against Yeovil Town and Bristol City WFC and draws against Arsenal W.F.C. and Reading F.C. Women.

After the Spring Series, Sunderland A.F.C. Ladies moved from their home venue af the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground to Mariners Park home of South Shields FC. Prior to the start of the 2018–19 season, the team was demoted two divisions from the WSL1 to the FA Women’s National League – Northern Premier Division after a bid to join the FA Women’s Championship was rejected.[25][26][27] After a season at Mariners Park, the Lady Black Cats decided to return to their Hetton-le-Hole home, for their debut season in the FA Women's National League North.

2020–present[edit]

On 8 May 2021, the team applied to join the FA Women's Championship from the Northern Premier Division.[28][29][30] On 2 June 2021, the club announced the FA had accepted this application, resulting in their move into the Women's Championship in the following 2021–22 season.[31][32][33]

Sunderland A.F.C. Women players before the start of a match against Lewes F.C. Women in January 2022.

Prior to the start of the 2022–23 season, the team officially changed its name from Sunderland Association Football Club Ladies to Sunderland Association Football Club Women in order to maintain "a contemporary, inclusive outlook as the club further develops into its new era in the women's game".[34][35][1] Before the start of the 2023–24 season, the team moved back to a hybrid model, singing some players on full-time professional contracts.[36][37]

Past seasons[edit]

As of August 2023, the team has the following record in its past seasons:

Key

Champions Runners-up Promoted Relegated


Divisions in bold indicate a change in division tier.

Season League FA Women's League Cup Women's FA Cup FA Women's National League Cup Top league goalscorer
Division (tier) P W D L F A Pts Pos Name Goals
2003–04[38] WPLR (2) 20 10 7 3 56 31 37 2nd
2004–05[39] WPLR (2) 22 17 2 3 66 26 53 1st Stephanie Houghton, Melanie Reay[40] 16
2005–06[41] WPLN (1) 18 3 4 11 22 57 13 9th Donna Lanaghan[42] 6
2006–07 WPLN (1) 22 3 2 17 15 72 11 11th n/a R4 R1 Stephanie Houghton 7
2007–08 WPLR (2) 22 16 2 4 52 30 50 3rd n/a R4 QF Sarah Danby 14
2008–09 WPLR (2) 22 17 2 3 95 16 53 1st n/a RU QF Sophie Williams 11
2009–10 WPLN (1) 22 12 1 9 36 35 37 5th n/a R4 SF Kelly McDougall 7
2010–11 WPLN[A] (2) 14 9 3 2 30 16 30 1st n/a QF QF Demilee Stokes 7
2011–12 WPLN (2) 18 13 3 2 49 18 42 1st n/a QF W Beth Mead 18
2012–13 WPLN (2) 18 14 3 1 54 16 45 1st n/a QF SF Beth Mead 17
2014 WSL2[B] (2) 18 15 2 1 47 15 47 1st Grp R5 n/a Beth Mead 13
2015 WSL1 (1) 14 6 2 6 24 24 20 4th Grp R3 n/a Beth Mead 12
2016 WSL1 (1) 16 2 4 10 17 41 10 7th R1 SF n/a Beth Mead 5
2017 Spring Series WSL1 (1) 8 2 3 3 4 14 9 5th n/a QF n/a Beverly Leon 2
2017–18 WSL1 (1) 18 5 1 12 15 20 16 7th* QF QF n/a Lucy Staniforth, Keira Ramshaw, Bridget Galloway 3
2018–19 WNL North (3) 24 15 3 6 83 36 48 2nd n/a R2 R3 Keira Ramshaw 24
2019–20 WNL North (3) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 n/a n/a R5 Final** Bridget Galloway 21
2020–21 WNL North (3) 9 5 0 4 17 17 15 5th* n/a R3 n/a Keira Ramshaw 5
2021–22[43] Womens Championship (2) 22 6 6 10 23 32 24 9th Grp R4 n/a Keira Ramshaw, Neve Herron, Emily Scarr[44] 4
2022–23[45] Womens Championship (2) 22 5 3 14 26 38 18 11th Grp R4[46] n/a Emily Scarr[44][47] 8

Current squad[edit]

As of 27 August 2023[48]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK England ENG Claudia Moan
4 DF England ENG Faye Mullen
5 DF England ENG Grace McCatty
6 DF England ENG Louise Griffiths
8 FW England ENG Emily Scarr
9 FW Wales WAL Mary McAteer
10 MF New Zealand NZL Katie Kitching
11 MF England ENG Jessica Brown
14 MF England ENG Natasha Fenton
15 DF England ENG Amy Goddard
16 MF England ENG Grace Ede
18 MF England ENG Libbi McInnes
19 DF England ENG Megan Beer
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 MF Wales WAL Ellen Jones
22 GK England ENG Megan Borthwick
23 MF England ENG Jenna Dear
25 FW England ENG Katy Watson
27 DF Scotland SCO Brianna Westrup
37 FW Kosovo KOS Elizabeta Ejupi

Former players[edit]

For details of current and former players, see Category:Sunderland A.F.C. Women players.

Club officials[edit]

As of 12 August 2023[49][50]

Management and backroom staff

  • Head coach: Melanie Reay
  • Assistant coach: Steph Libbey
  • General manager: Alex Clark
  • Goalkeeper coach: Jonathan Craig[51]
  • Physical performance coach: Jack Kehoe
  • Physiotherapist: Hayley Arnold
  • Women's engagement officer: Kieran Regan
  • Women's analyst: Gino Elraee
  • Matchday photography: Kasey Taylor
  • Matchday medical services: Dr. Jack Nash

Honours[edit]

With the WSL 2 trophy in 2014

League

Cup

Footnotes[edit]

A. ^ The FA Women's Super League was formed in 2010 for the start of the 2011 season, Sunderland Ladies were not chosen to participate in the newly formed top tier of women's football. Although Sunderland Ladies were not relegated from the top tier of Women's football in England in 2010, they found themselves playing in the second tier at the start of their 2011 campaign.
B. ^ The FA Women's Super League was expanded to two divisions in 2014 for the start of that years season with the formation of the FA Women's Super League 2. Sunderland Ladies were one of 10 teams elected to participate in the newly formed second tier of women's football for the start of the 2014 season.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name". find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk. Companies House. 22 December 2022. p. 1. Archived from the original on 15 August 2023. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  2. ^ Wrack, Suzanne (13 June 2022). "How the FA banned women's football in 1921 and tried to justify it". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 August 2022. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  3. ^ "Kicking Down Barriers - The story of women's football in England". www.thefa.com. Archived from the original on 31 March 2023. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  4. ^ Wrack, Suzanne (10 April 2020). "Sir Denis Follows: the man who ended the ban on women playing football". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 August 2023. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  5. ^ Garry, Tom (26 August 2021). "The truth about how the FA were forced to lift their ban on women's football". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 14 April 2023. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  6. ^ Kessel, Anna (22 November 2014). "England women's long, historic journey to meet Germany at Wembley". The Observer. Archived from the original on 15 August 2023. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  7. ^ "Can Grimsby lay claim to a milestone in women's football?". BBC News. 2 February 2012. Archived from the original on 15 August 2023. Retrieved 15 August 2023. Spurred on by England's 1966 World Cup win - and in the context of the political and social upheaval of the 1960s - the Women's Football Association was formed with 44 member clubs in 1969.
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ "Lasses Legends: Sunderland Ladies pioneer Sue Smith - The sweetest left foot in the north east!". Roker Report. 29 April 2022. Archived from the original on 14 August 2023. Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  10. ^ Hutchinson, Lisa (9 June 2008). "Striker Melanie is just Shear class!". ChronicleLive. Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  11. ^ Speight, Rich (17 April 2022). "Way Back When: The founding of Sunderland Ladies in April 1989!". Roker Report. Archived from the original on 29 March 2023. Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  12. ^ Dean, Tom (8 November 2019). "How the Lionesses' history-makers were made in Sunderland". The Independent. Archived from the original on 14 August 2023. Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  13. ^ "Poaching row over soccer women". The Northern Echo. 14 July 2000. Archived from the original on 14 August 2023. Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  14. ^ Shannon, David (9 September 2002). "England (Women) 2001/02". www.rsssf.org. RSSSF. Archived from the original on 6 April 2023. Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  15. ^ "Meet Sunderland Women FC". www.bbc.co.uk. British Broadcasting Corporation. 4 January 2007. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  16. ^ "Bannon's Black Cats eye promotion". BBC Sport. 16 April 2014. Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  17. ^ Leighton, Tony (26 October 2014). "WSL2 glory for champions Sunderland". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 14 August 2023. Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  18. ^ "Sunderland name Fairweather new boss". BBC Sport. 29 December 2014. Archived from the original on 14 August 2023. Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  19. ^ "Sunderland Ladies change to part-time". BBC Sport. 5 January 2017. Archived from the original on 14 August 2023. Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  20. ^ "Sunderland Ladies to return to part-time status, club announce". Sunderland Echo. 5 January 2017. Archived from the original on 14 August 2023. Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  21. ^ Treadwell, Matthew (6 January 2017). "Sunderland Ladies go part-time for new Super League season". Sky Sports. Archived from the original on 14 August 2023. Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  22. ^ "Reay appointed head coach". Sunderland Association Football Club. 16 March 2017. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  23. ^ "Sunderland Ladies appoint new head coach". Sunderland Echo. 24 March 2017. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  24. ^ "Reay in for Fairweather at Sunderland". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  25. ^ "Sunderland Ladies' demotion: How it happened, what it means and what next". Sunderland Echo. 24 July 2018. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  26. ^ "Sunderland Ladies demoted two divisions after losing FA appeal". Sunderland Echo. 23 July 2018. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  27. ^ Taylor, Louise (28 May 2018). "West Ham the big winners, Sunderland key losers in women's football revamp". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  28. ^ Chamberlain, Oscar (8 May 2021). "Application to join FA Womens Championship". Sunderland Association Football Club. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  29. ^ Whyatt, Katie (8 May 2021). "Women's football: Sunderland Ladies apply to join FA Women's Championship". The Athletic. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  30. ^ Jamieson, Stuart (8 May 2021). "Sunderland Ladies apply to join FA Women's Championship". ChronicleLive. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  31. ^ Chamberlain, Oscar (2 June 2021). "Ladies secure FA Women's Championship status". Sunderland Association Football Club. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  32. ^ Wilson, Scott (2 June 2021). "Sunderland Ladies' application to join FA Women's Championship is approved". The Northern Echo. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  33. ^ Hewitt, Matty (3 June 2021). "Sunderland AFC Ladies set to play Championship football next season". ChronicleLive. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  34. ^ Smith, Phil (3 May 2022). "Sunderland Ladies announce rebrand ahead of the next Women's Championship campaign". Sunderland Echo. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  35. ^ "Lasses to rebrand to SAFC Women". Sunderland Association Football Club. 3 May 2022. Archived from the original on 13 August 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  36. ^ "Club announce hybrid playing model". Sunderland Association Football Club. 25 April 2023. Archived from the original on 7 May 2023. Retrieved 13 August 2023.
  37. ^ Smith, Phil (25 April 2023). "Sunderland Women confirm the major step they will take towards professionalism this summer". Sunderland Echo. Archived from the original on 12 August 2023. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  38. ^ "Table | Northern Division | The FA Women's National League". fulltime.thefa.com. Archived from the original on 15 August 2023. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  39. ^ "Table | Northern Division | The FA Women's National League". fulltime.thefa.com. Archived from the original on 15 August 2023. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  40. ^ "Stat leaders | The FA Women's National League". fulltime.thefa.com. Archived from the original on 15 August 2023. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  41. ^ "Table | National Division | The FA Women's National League". fulltime.thefa.com. Archived from the original on 15 August 2023. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  42. ^ "Stat leaders | The FA Women's National League". fulltime.thefa.com. Archived from the original on 15 August 2023. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  43. ^ "Women's Championship (Sky Sports)". SkySports. Archived from the original on 24 December 2022. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  44. ^ a b "Sunderland AFC Ladies Stats, Form & xG | FootyStats". footystats.org. Archived from the original on 12 August 2023. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  45. ^ "Women's Championship (Sky Sports)". SkySports. Archived from the original on 12 August 2023. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  46. ^ "Sunderland Ladies v Manchester United Women". BBC Sport. 29 January 2023. Archived from the original on 29 January 2023. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  47. ^ "England - Sunderland WFC - Results, fixtures, squad, statistics, photos, videos and news - Soccerway". uk.soccerway.com. Archived from the original on 12 August 2023. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  48. ^ "Red & White Issue 01: SAFC Women vs London City Lionesses". yumpu.com. 26 August 2023. p. 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 August 2023. Retrieved 27 August 2023.
  49. ^ "SAFC Women". Sunderland Association Football Club. Archived from the original on 12 August 2023. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  50. ^ "Women News: Staffing Update". Sunderland Association Football Club. 15 December 2022. Archived from the original on 26 January 2023. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  51. ^ Godfrey, Dan (5 October 2022). "Craig arrives as Women's Goalkeeping Coach". Sunderland Association Football Club. Archived from the original on 24 December 2022. Retrieved 12 August 2023.

External links[edit]

54°49′17.990″N 1°27′19.800″W / 54.82166389°N 1.45550000°W / 54.82166389; -1.45550000