Women’s Football Weekend a chance to grow the game, says Huddersfield Town’s Becky Flaherty

Despite women’s football having a long history, this weekend is only the third ever women’s football weekend.

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With it being the international break in the men’s game, it is a great opportunity for football fans to attend their local women’s games.

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Spectators have watched and enjoyed the women’s game for over 100 years, with 53,000 people attending a game at Goodison Park in Liverpool in 1920.

Becky Flaherty in action for Huddersfield Town Ladies (Picture: Jess Hornby)

Just a few decades earlier in 1895, 15,000 people attended the first recorded women’s game in Crouch End. This proves that despite some popular myths surrounding women’s football, it is not a new thing and has a long history.

For Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Becky Flaherty, whose side host Sir Tom Finney Ladies tomorrow in the FA Cup at the Stafflex Arena (1pm), it is a rare opportunity for the women’s game to blossom. 

“It’s so important to raise the profile of the women’s game,” she said.

“It has grown massively but there is still not enough support, this is why weekends like this are super important.”

Becky Flaherty in action for Huddersfield Town Ladies (Picture: Jess Hornby)

Flaherty also competes at the highest level for her national side, Northern Ireland. Next summer, the Women’s Euros are hosted in England, with many of the big games being held at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane and Rotherham’s New York Stadium. 

“With high-profile football being brought to Yorkshire, it will hopefully get more players involved which will raise the profile of the game here,” said Flaherty.

“Plus, it will give fans the opportunity to see their idols play and will help give young females in the area role models and players they can look up to. It will give them an opportunity to watch women’s football at the highest level, and hopefully something to aspire to.

“Hopefully from this the youth teams in the surrounding areas will see an increase in young players which will boost their own leagues, which in the long run will have a great impact on the women’s game.” 

Huddersfield Town are currently fourth in the Northern Premier Division, the third tier of women’s football, having won the division and reached the last 16 of the FA Cup last season.