Soccer

Newcastle turn professional following promotion to Women’s National League

Newcastle Women are set to go full-time in the FA Women’s National League next season (Richard Sellers/PA)
Newcastle Women are set to go full-time in the FA Women’s National League next season (Richard Sellers/PA) Newcastle Women are set to go full-time in the FA Women’s National League next season (Richard Sellers/PA)

Newcastle will become the first full-time professional football club operating in the Women’s National League from next season.

Becky Langley’s side earned promotion to the third tier of the women’s football pyramid after beating Barnsley 2-0 to become Division One North champions.

The Magpies pulled in remarkable crowds last season, with 28,565 watching the 2-1 defeat to Barnsley in the FA Cup and 24,092 fans in attendance for their 6-1 win against Bradford at St James’ Park.

They will be competing in the Women’s National League Northern Premier Division next season and will be able to train throughout the week with access to professional equipment.

The decision comes as the club aim to reach their goal of playing in the Women’s Super League.

Newcastle’s sporting director Dan Ashworth told the club website: “The success of Newcastle Women is an integral part of our sporting objectives and we are delighted to support the team’s progress by building a professional model around them.

“Becky and the players have shown incredible dedication, and turning full-time will enable them to fully concentrate on their careers and the next chapter of Newcastle United Women as fully supported professionals.”

Head coach Langley added: “This is a monumental moment for Newcastle Women and the FA Women’s National League.

“We hope to be a leading light in the movement towards professionalism in the women’s game and inspire women and girls who dream of pursuing a career in football.

“We have worked incredibly hard to get here and I’m so excited to work with the players as we help them to be the best athletes they can be.”