Albion's goalkeeper will be cheering on the women's team for their crucial match.
Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale is backing Albion women’s side to win The FA Women’s Premier League Championship Play-Off Final.
The FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division champions take on their Northern Division equivalents Sporting Club Albion – who are affiliated to West Bromwich Albion – on Sunday, 29th May, at Wycombe Wanderers’ Adams Park ground.
The winners will then have the opportunity to take their place in Women’s Super League 2 (WSL2) subject to meeting FA WSL 2 licence criteria, and Stockdale believes there is enough quality in the Albion side to overcome their Black Country opponents.
He said, “We’ve got a strong team, a strong squad of players who deserve to be playing at a higher level, so a play-off win would be brilliant.
“I’ve been very impressed with their quality of football; they play an attractive, passing game which is the Brighton way, and hopefully they can go on and take their place in Super League for next season.
“They’ve won their league already, which is an unbelievable achievement, but hopefully they can go one step further than the men and bring the celebrations back to Brighton.”
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With the women’s squad based at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre alongside the men, there is a close affinity between the sides, and Stockdale reveals that the first-team squad will certainly be keeping an eye on next Sunday’s game.
“Wherever they may be at this time of year, the lads will definitely keep in contact with what’s happening in the final,” he added. “There will be a lot of messages sent on social media, which again shows that we’re one club, we’re together and fully supportive of each other, whatever the Albion team or age group.
“I’m sure the fans will be keeping an eye out too because they’re part of this club, part of the close-knit bond between the club and the community, so we’ll all be wishing the team well.”
Stockdale’s good luck messages will certainly be extended to fellow goalkeeper Faye Baker, although he admits there’s been a friendly rivalry developing between the pair these past couple of seasons.
“I challenged her to a clean sheet competition this season which she didn’t want to do. Last season she caught me unguarded but this year I think I may have won it comfortably!
“I speak a lot to Faye, who’s come through ups and downs herself, so a play-off win would be a nice way for her to cap the season off – she deserves to be playing at a higher level.
“We talk football, we talk as keepers, and it’s good to get another point of view. She tells me what I can do better and vice-versa, that’s the way it is here – you respect any keeper, whether it’s the U8s or the first-team. We have that togetherness.
“The fact that the women’s squad share our training ground and we support each other’s matches shows how far women’s football has come – and long may it continue.”
The game takes place at Adams Park on Sunday 29th May, kick-off 2pm. Tickets for the FA Women’s Premier League Championship Play-off Final will be available on the day and cost £5 for adults, £2.50 for concessions (OAPs and under-16s, £1 for under-10s and free entry for under-3s.