Thursday, 18 July 2013

AFCB midfielder Sammy Watson gives her reaction to England International at Dean Court

You can't blink at the moment before AFCB spring yet another surprise on its supporters. This time we hear that the England Women's team are lined up to play a qualifier against Belarus at Dean Court on Saturday 21st September 2013 and the match will have live coverage on the BBC!

Exciting times, yes. Quite unbelievable we may think, but there is a clear direction that our owners are taking us in and they are looking to raise the profile of the Cherries as a family club. Of course we have our own ladies team, AFC Bournemouth Ladies and I would imagine that this international match will really give them something to look forward to. With that in mind I thought it best to ask central midfielder Sammy Watson what she thought about the national team coming to play a match at Dean Court.

CC: Did you have any inkling about the England match coming to Bournemouth or was it a complete surprise?

SW: No not at all, it came as a complete surprise to us all on the team. I've been to a few England Ladies games before but they've all been at stadiums much larger than Dean Court however with all the recent improvements to the ground it's hardly a surprise! We had the privilege of being able to use the facilities last year and they really are fantastic.

CC: Are there any players in the England team that you particularly admire and hope to meet?

SW: As a central midfielder myself I'm excited about the development of Jordan Nobbs who'll be a fantastic player in a few years time. Similar to me, she's not particularly blessed with height however still remains combative and notches her fair share of goals. Aside from that I'd imagine most who follow women's football will be particularly excited to see England legend's Kelly Smith and Rachel Yankey in action. 

CC: Do you feel that Women's football needs a boost in Southern England and that this match might help to get larger crowd numbers coming to future female matches?

SW: Without a doubt. Although women's football is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK, it's just not attracting the crowds. Arsenal Ladies for example only average around 1500 people a game, which is absolutely shocking considering all they've achieved. A lot of people are very quick to judge women's football without good reason and so this is a fantastic opportunity to change any preconceived ideas. Despite a poor start to Euro 2013, the England Ladies team play some great football and so I think the women's game around the area can only benefit from the occasion.

CC: What do you think it would be like if AFCB Ladies got to play with the England team in training before the game at Bournemouth?

SW: Wow, it would be absolutely incredible. As a team and as individuals at AFCB we still have so much to learn so who better to share a training pitch with than the best female players in the country? The amount of experience on that side at the moment is phenomenal and they could teach us so much. 

CC: The England team are playing in an International tournament now - the European Championship - how important for the women's game do you think it is for them to win against France today for women's football in this country?

SW: It's been a very frustrating tournament for the Ladies team as they haven't even began to show what they're capable of, however I don't think a loss would be detrimental to women's football on the whole. The women's game continues to be one of the fastest growing sports in the UK and indeed I think is now believed to be the favoured sport for females in the country. It's easy to forget that the game only really took off in the 1990's so it still has a long way to go, however with greater backing at grassroots, the quality of women's football is rapidly becoming better and better.

If you want watch England Ladies' important last group C game in the European Championship tune into BBC 3 tonight from 19.00pm, kick-off is at 19.30pm

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