The Football Association is calling on all football-loving dads in the Midlands
The Football Association is calling on all football-loving dads in the Midlands to bring their daughters along to support England Women in their World Cup campaign. In partnership with Nationwide Building Society, the England team will face Iceland in a critical World Cup play-off semi-final at Birmingham City FC on Sunday September 22nd.
Dads may traditionally go to football matches with friends, but the atmosphere at England Women's games is perfect for families, attracting a fun and friendly crowd. Attendances have risen dramatically this season with an average of over 10,000 regularly coming to internationals across the country.
FA spokeswoman for Women's Football, Bev Ward, said: "England are one of the top sides in Europe and play attractive, skilful football. If you haven't seen Women's Football before, this is a great showcase for the country's No.1 female sport. It's a safe, fun environment and great value for money too - for a fiver a whole family can come for an enjoyable afternoon out."
The international match kicks-off at 3.00pm, but there will be matchday entertainment from 2pm and children can get into the spirit of the day with competitions and face painters.
The England Women's teams features six girls who play football professionally, while there are also postwomen, a mother and a fraud officer among the squad. The team finished second to European champions Germany in their qualifying group, so now face two play-off matches to try to qualify for the fifth FIFA Women's World Cup. Should England beat Iceland over the away and home legs, they will then play France or Denmark for the right to compete in the September 2003 Finals.
The team is set to feature Rachel Unitt, a 21-year-old left-back from Walsall. Rachel gets paid to play football as a full-time pro with FA Cup holders Fulham and is hoping local people will get behind her and the team. "This is a really important game for England and we need to get a win to give us a good chance of qualifying for the World Cup. We've had some really great support and attendances at our games this year and I hope the people of the Midlands will come and cheer us on.
"If you haven't watched Women's Football before, this is a great game to come and watch. We play entertaining football and most people are surprised when they see a game. I really enjoyed playing football for my local teams and for Wolves Ladies, where my dad is still the assistant manager. He'll be there supporting me, and I hope all the girls and women playing football in the area will come along to support us."
It is advisable to buy tickets before the day of the game, although tickets will be on sale at the turnstiles. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Birmingham City ticket hotline on 0121 772 0101 ext 5. Entry will be priced at £3 for adults and £1 for children before the day, with prices going up to £5/£1 on matchday. There will also be a special family ticket, priced at £5, for up to two adults and three children. Special group booking rates are available to clubs and schools wishing to attend the game. To request a booking form or for more information, please call 020 8563 9147.