England women’s manager Phil Neville praised the strides made by Brighton & Hove Albion within the women’s game, and the club’s decision to host an FA Women’s Super League fixture at the Amex Stadium.
The Lionesses boss has spoken about the need for clubs to throw open their main stadia to their respective women’s teams, and is thrilled to see the Amex follow this growing trend.
He said, “Brighton and Hove Albion are a progressive and well-run club. You only have to look at the stadium and training facilities.
“The women’s team have had mixed results in their maiden WSL 1 campaign but have competed well in what is an extremely strong league. I am certain they’ll continue to build and grow.
“Increasing attendances is a whole-game effort and I’m delighted to see Brighton host a fixture at their fantastic stadium. Attendances are up 13% in the WSL since last year. Brighton’s game against Arsenal will be full of quality and I’d encourage all Brighton and Arsenal fans to head down to the Amex – you won’t be disappointed.”
Neville spoke more in detail about the large attendances in women’s matches across Europe, and highlighted the work being done by clubs and The FA in this country to increase crowds across the game.
“It’s great to see the big crowds in Europe. I was able to experience the atmospheres first-hand on my scouting trips and I know Toni [Duggan] relished playing and scoring for Barcelona in front of 60,000 people.
“I think The FA and clubs deserve credit for their hard work with ticket pricing and attracting families and school groups. Maximising attendances at showpiece matches is a vital part of growing a following at all levels.
“Our ambassadors and players act as role models for young girls and they are vital. All are playing their part in growing attendances for cup finals and Lionesses games. There’s still work to be done but progress is being made.”
Neville gave his message to fans who have yet to attend a women’s match, and looked ahead to England’s friendly against New Zealand, which will also be held at the Amex on 1st June.
“The women’s game has grown considerably and the standard is improving all the time. At Brighton alone, there’s a top WSL fixture on 28th April and then an international on 1st June.
“I’d encourage anyone who may be thinking of attending to do so. The whole experience is fantastic, a real family atmosphere with some quality football on display.
“The game against New Zealand is our big World Cup send-off fixture and we can’t wait. I’ll never forget my first home game in charge against Wales at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium where over 25,000 people attended.
“It was a brilliant atmosphere and it’d be fantastic to better those numbers if we can. Our fans are fantastic and back us wherever we play. Hopefully the people of Brighton and beyond will come out in their numbers and we’ll be able to put on a great show before we head out to France to embark on our World Cup campaign.”
Tickets are available to purchase for Albion’s final home FA Women’s Super League match against Arsenal at the Amex on Sunday 28th April, kick-off 12.15pm. Adults are priced at just £3 and juniors are £1. Visit BrightonAndHoveAlbion.com/tickets to buy yours.