What a pleasure, after a season of such disappointment for Sunderland AFC, to be able to congratulate a team in our red and white stripes. Sunderland Women’s Football Club again won the Premier title and this time the FA could find no spurious reason to justify shutting the door of the Super League to them. We asked Paul Dobson – Sobs of A Love Supreme fame and also one of this site’s great friends – to write about the exploits of a side he occasionally watches in action. It appears at Salut! Sunderland as Monsieur Salut’s younger daughter, Nathalie, prepares to line up with her London-based team Old Actonians for a friendly against Toulon in the south of France (minus “Sir” Jonny, as my neighbour calls him, absent – as is neighbour – at the French rugby cup final at the Stade de France) …
If you want to re-inject into your lives a little pride in being a Sunderland supporter, consider this:
P W D L GD PTS
1 Sunderland 12 9 3 0 27 30
2 Watford 12 7 4 1 12 25
3 Leeds United 11 7 1 3 8 22
Yes, the Lasses won yet again, at Barnet, and are now five points clear at the top of the FA Women’s Premier League. Back to them shortly. Mick Goulding, meanwhile, had his weekend football a few miles away in west London. This, from the Blackcats list, is his account of heroic efforts at QPR to prevent a rare London excursion being completely ruined by the Sunderland team running out …
As one whose younger daughter is a far better player than her dad ever was, Monsieur Salut enthusiastically welcomes the announcement from the London and Southern England branch of the Sunderland AFC Supporters’ Association that it has joined the list of sponsors of the Sunderland Women’s football team.
In a special fantasy edition of Martin’s Musings, the manager gives early news of his plans for beating Manchester United to end a dismal run …
Remember the time when the men could be expected to go out and do the business? Not that long ago. Now, they are under heavy pressure – largely of their own making – to finish the season with a belated flourish, at Craven Cottage on Sunday and at home to the confirmed or would-be champions Manchester United a week after that.
With the Lasses, it’s different, or seems to be. Give them a task and out they go to accomplish it. Bravo!, Chapeau! to Sunderland Women’s Football Club for bouncing back from shocking exclusion from the Super League to retain the Premier League title by beating Cardiff City 2-1 away yesterday. That is some achievement and there’s a cup final still to come on Sunday.
Pete Sixsmith is a traditionalist. And women don’t play football according to his notion of tradition. At least they didn’t (though he’d clearly never seen Monsieur Salut’s daughter in action for Brentford, QPR or Acton with one substitute appearance for Arsenal along the way). An 8-0 romp for Sunderland lasses, with a goal from the men seeming a distant luxury, challenged his ideas …
Ha’way the Lads, but also – yet again – Ha’way the Lasses as the Sunderland women’s football club goes from strength to strength …
That’s the Sunderland Women’s Football team you can see. Their exploits deserve more publicity (as well as a fairer deal from the FA). French media, on the other hand, gave good coverage to the Lyon women’s team which beat Arsenal Ladies 2-0 in the first leg of the Champions’ League semi-final with two excellent finishes by Lotta Schelin (*see footnote for clip). More than 20,000 turned up at OL’s Stade de Gerland; let us see whether the Gunnerettes can overturn the lead in tomorrow’s return game in London. To Rob Hutchison, the notion that women can actually play quite well is relatively recent. But he’s a convert …
For years, I’d scoffed at the thought of girls, yes girls, playing football.
They ain’t strong enough, they can’t tackle, they can’t kick a ball properly, they can’t head it, they’re too soft. All are comments so often heard when “blerks” talk about women’s football. But gradually the profile is rising, with more internationals on free-to-air TV and more and more media coverage.
We’re all feeling down, so let the women cheer us up. Sunderland Women’s Football Club have secured their Premier League title, grabbing the three points needed to be sure in a difficult match at Millwall.
The girls, who also reached the FA Women’s Cup fifth round to go out with a fighting display (men playing for SAFC please note) against Arsenal, came from behind to win 3-2 with goals from Natalie Gutteridge, Kelly MacDougall and Abby Holmes.
Salut! Sunderland congratulates the Sunderland Women’s team for putting up what seems to have been another excellent display, this time against Arsenal, before a late winner put the Gunners through to the FA Women’s Cup semi-finals.
Sad to relate, the game was not shown on French TV and I knew better than to go to the official SAFC site for news of it. So thanks are due to the Shields Gazette and Arsenal Ladies’ website for keeping us informed.