Worksop Town women’s football team are enjoying the full backing of the world’s fourth oldest club – just like their male counterparts.
In what skipper Nicola Stray calls a rarity in the women’s game, her side is managed by the club’s first team boss Mark Shaw, train alongside the men and have been roared on by Tigers supporters at their games.
The 2015/16 season is the women’s first, at Worksop Town, having been assembled by Shaw in the summer.
They ply their trade in the Sheffield and Hallamshire Women’s Division Three, and although the team are still ‘finding their feet’ they have high hopes for a successful campaign.
Stray told the Guardian: “We’re a new team and still trying to gel, but it’s a great set up, the girls are all great and we’re really enjoyng it.
“We take it just as seriously as the men’s game, and we’re going to try our best to get promoted this season.
Former Chesterfield and Sheffield United player Stray led the Tigers to victory in their first first outing, against Socrates.
Their second game resulted in defeat at Barnsley Ladies.
Both games have been watched by a number of the club’s supporters.
She said: “A lot of the fans came and supported us, and they’ll see what Mark wants us to play just like the men’s team play.
“He’s one of the best manager’s I’ve played under, he knows what he wants us to achieve.”
Vice captain Emma Foulds paid tribute to the club for showing such staunch support to the women’s team.
“It’s been amazing, like no other club I’ve been involved with,” she said.
“We have the first team manager backing us, the club’s backing and the fans – all of that is virtually unheard of in the women’s game.
“We’ve trained side by side with the first team, and will be sharing training sessions in the winter.”
And the 27-year-old centre-half is relishing the chance to finally represent her local club.
“I’ve always wanted to play for my home town team, since I started and the closest I ever got was Retford.
“The team are already like one big family, and although it was a bit daunting having supporters after years of just the odd parent or relative, it’s been really good having a following.”
The women are next in action with a home game on 11th at Shirebrook against Socrates.