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In Conversation With Brighouse Town Women's Rebecca Alderson



Following on from our chat with Matthew Kermode from Bradford City Women, we have been lucky enough to ask Rebecca Alderson some questions about her role at another Yorkshire club Brighouse Town Women. Rebecca is someone I have chatted to plenty of times on social media however, I didn't realise just what her role at the club was. So here is how our conversation went.

EOTA : Tell us about yourself?  What team (s) do you support from leagues around the world in both the men's & women's game?
Rebecca : I'm currently the women's secretary for Brighouse Town Women. When not at the football you would find me either walking with my little Westie or more likely at work working in Pharmacy which has been the most rewarding time over the last few months. They have been tough but we have got through it, and hopefully it will continue to get better. Last year I won the West Riding Volunteer of the year award for my time helping Brighouse. I am a FA level one coach, along with helping on the committee of the West Riding Girls League.

My team in women's football has to be Brighouse Town and in the men's game Liverpool. Being a fan of both teams can be tough at times. 

EOTA: What got you into football (either playing or supporting)?
Rebecca : To be honest living up North as a kid. We all kicked a ball around on the streets. Jumpers as goal posts and sometimes a bottle as a ball. I have always been interested in the game.

EOTA : Who is one player you would love to see play for your teams (male or female)?
Rebecca : Honestly I would love to see Jill Scott in a Brighouse shirt as both on and off the pitch she seems to be a top class player. What she has done at Man City & England is great and I feel that she is possibly a little underrated.

EOTA : What is your earliest memory from the beautiful game?
Rebecca : I've played football for as long as I can remember to be honest. I remember our house as a young girl had a huge garden and we made it into a 5 a side pitch, so always has a ball at my feet. My brother is a few years older than me so always used to kick a ball around with him and his mates, I'm sure he didn't want too really.
My earliest memory is when my dad took me to the Middlesborough vs Sunderland game, a game that ended in riots, never forget that game. Playing wise, my earliest memory is playing for the school 'boys' team in goal for them because their 'keeper was injured and we won the game and the boys didn't want their 'keeper back.

EOTA: What’s one of the best experiences you have had from the game? 
Rebecca : Best watching experience has to be Champions League night at Anfield, watching Mo Salah scoring a penalty at the Kop end.
More locally my best experience would be FA Cup games for Brighouse. 2017 vs Everton, 2018 vs Sunderland and then more recently Liverpool Fed's in 2019. The first two results didn't go our way, but the atmosphere in both was amazing. The coach on the way back from Sunderland was fantastic and something I'll remember for a long time. Feds away this season was a great game, great football and even better for me was that my nephew chose not to play for his team so he could come and watch.

EOTA : Where are you hoping to see your club (s) in 5 years time?
Rebecca : Tier 3 would be amazing and excelling in there too. I think WSL & WC would be a step too big I think, but never say never 5 years is a long time after all.

EOTA : Other than the team you support, who are your favourite teams to watch & why?
Rebecca : Within our league it would be Liverpool Fed's. They play some great football and have some quality players. When Fran Alonso was their manager they were one of the best footballing teams within our league, but have kept that momentum now he's moved on.

EOTA : What do you think of your season just gone? 
Rebecca : Obviously Covid-19 stopped the season early and that was absolutely the right decision. A massive credit to the FAWNL management committee for their decision making throughout that time.
On the pitch we didn't do too bad, I think we finished unbeaten in the league and got to the semi final of the County Cup. We had some awful conditions with storms etc causing fixture nightmares but overall I think we recruited well and brought some great players in. Hopefully we will retain them and see where this season takes us.


EOTA : Who would be in your women's team of the year?
Rebecca : I'm going to do my ultimate Brighouse team as I don't follow much WSL/WC football. I'll upset someone or will have missed someone I am sure but here it goes:
Steph Jones, Kay Bamforth, Cara Mahoney, Emma Dobson, Becky Gompertz, Emma Pilling, Lauren Doyle, Annabelle Cass, Chloe Wild, Charlotte Proud & Jodie Redgrave.
Subs : Carrie Simpson, Hannah Poulter, Aimi Beresford, Abi Housecroft & Hannah Friebach.
I could put everyone on the bench but I'll stick with these.

EOTA : Where do you see the women's league going and progressing after this disruption due to the coronavirus?
Rebecca : I think for all sports and leagues in grassroots leagues we just have to wait until it's safe to get going again and then enjoy it.
It's been tough, football is a massive part of these players life, training 2/3 times a week then playing on a Sunday & possibly midweek it soon adds up.
We just have to be positive and allow the government to make the rules and we enjoy it. There has been some negative press around sexism etc, but let's forget about that and enjoy the lovely game that is football.
The league have done everything they can to support us, so hopefully leagues will come back stronger.

EOTA : What does your role at the club involve?
Rebecca : Honestly if I was to write a job description it would change every week, but as a whole it's making sure that the players have everything they need to play and are safe to play. I ensure team know where they are coming and make sure that everyone is ready to kick off at 2pm on a Sunday.
On a match day I make sure players have the correct kit (away days we have the kit on the coach/ in the car), it's clean and they have everything ready for them to be able to play football... they are not demanding so all is good. Then making sure the players are all registered to play. 
I wouldn't be able to do it without my little helpers though, we all pull together to get everything sorted.

EOTA : What made you get involved in the club?
Rebecca : I started coaching and helping on the gate on a match day. We used to pay someone to be on the gate, but when I was there anyway so offered to help out on the gate. That then quickly escalated to be in the position that I am in now. Then I think it just goes from there, if something needs doing and I can do it then I do.

EOTA : What's the best parts of the role?
Rebecca : Seeing the end result. When the whistle blows at 2pm I can relax (sometimes) and enjoy watching the game. That whole family feeling and I'll be honest Brighouse Women have probably saved me. They are my why and that sounds really sad but my involvement in football keeps me on track and keeps me going. Brighouse & the players,staff and other volunteers play a massive part of that.

EOTA : What's one of your least fave parts of the role? 
Rebecca : Closed season. No games is nice for a couple of weeks rest but then I just need football back.

EOTA : Is there anything you would say to anyone wanting to join a team’s committee? 
Rebecca : Do it, it's hard work but massively rewarding. If you have the time to spare then many hands make light work.

EOTA : Any words for anyone wanting to get involved in the women's game besides playing?
Rebecca : The women's game is growing and it needs you. Spend local, watch local and enjoy the game.

EOTA : Where can we find you guys (i.e social media channels)
Rebecca : Twitter & Instagram : beckyalderson3 & btafcwomen.

So there you have it, some excellent points there from Becky. It is great to hear about her experiences of the game and what life is like down at Brighouse Town Women.

Who would you like to see me chat to next? If you want to get involved with this new little series feel free to email us at edgeofthearea@gmail.com.

Teams Are Going To Need Our Support More Than Ever...




Football teams are going to need support from the fans more than ever once things start to go back to some form of normality after this Corona-virus situation, especially those lower league teams. Teams revenues will take a massive hit due to the lack of games and the lack of ticket sales with fans being unable to go watch the games that is why us fans really need to step up and show just how much those clubs mean to us. If we don't who knows how many clubs we will end up losing.

The thing is there are so many ways we can help those clubs out and keep them going as long as possible. Some cost literally nothing others will cost but can be so beneficial not just for the club but for you too.

Sponsor players
If you sponsor a player you are essentials donating the money to the club to support that player playing at the club. Not only are you helping that club but you may also be benefiting yourself by doing this too. Essentially if you sponsor that player as a business you will be gaining extra marketing for a season for the cost of sponsoring that player which will no doubt be cheaper than any other marketing campaign. Plus you will probably feel better knowing that you are helping a player & team out whilst also getting your own benefits.

Sponsor a match day
If you can't afford to sponsor a player as I know they can be pricey at times, why not just sponsor a match day instead? These are often cheaper than a player's season long sponsorship but you are still helping the club out. Check with your local club see how much it costs and give them a hand by purchasing a match day sponsor ship package. This might be a one off or you may purchase a few match day's worth but I am sure it will feel rewarding when you see your name or your companies name in the programme and mentioned at the game knowing you have helped the club carry on going a little longer.

Share social posts
Sharing clubs content is free, so I don't understand why people don't do it more often. If you see a tweet from a club about an upcoming game or event then all you have to do is retweet or share it. It is as simple as clicking one button, no doubt not all your followers on Twitter will be local to you so they may benefit from seeing you sharing things from a variety of clubs you follow. I know that seeing other people share things from different clubs has helped me come across some great new clubs and events to attend.


Buy merchandise
This is one that is going to be harder in the women's game as they don't always offer merchandise of their own but if they do and you have spare money available please consider buying something. It could literally be a badge or a mug but that money will help the club out as it will be a bit of extra money in their pockets which they can put back into the club to help keep it running.


Attend games (when safe to do so)
When it is safe to do so head out to your local club's games, it will be cheaper and will be a totally different experience for you. Since attending the Bradford City Women games from the start of last season you can definitely see how each division is a different experience so don't miss out on trying something new. Plus you will find that often going to lower division games and women's games will be a lot cheaper than what you are used to so if you have people who want to go to a game who can't usually afford it now is the time who knows they may end up falling in love with the club and deciding to follow them. When it is safe to do so I think if Bradford Park Avenue or Brighouse men's or women's are at home when Bradford City men's or women's aren't then I will try go watch some of their games to see a different team and help support them.

Donate to any fundraising
I honestly think that there is going to be an increase in fundraising campaigns especially when you get down to none league teams and women's teams just to help teams gain extra funds to get through the upcoming campaign and raise funds to continue for future campaigns. If you see a campaign if you can donate to them then please do but if not don't just scroll past the campaign share it on your social media, just because you can't donate it doesn't mean others won't be able to if they see the fundraising campaign. Just by sharing any fundraising campaigns you see you could be showing it to a much wider audience and gain the club more donations.

I know we will be doing quite a few of these suggestions for the upcoming seasons and possibly even further into the future as the clubs really need our help and as we have found recently sometimes lower league is better than top flight and supporting your local teams is great for actually seeing live games and not just being sat in front of the TV. Plus supporting the women's game especially locally is definitely a lot cheaper and it is great seeing the club grow in front of you. Will you be helping clubs out once they get playing again?

The Bradford City Retained List


Back in May it was announced that ten Bradford City players were due to leave when their contracts expired at the end of June and to be honest it was no surprise at all especially with McCall coming back as manager and the team not performing as well as they should be. In recent years many players have come and gone from the club but others have somehow miraculously stayed yet they have been massively under performing. But after seeing this seasons retained list some of those players have finally gone and it looks like McCall is really trying to change the team to suit his playing style and bring City back to winning ways. Some names on the released list however, came as a bit of a surprise but it does make you wonder if the club are getting ready for any of the rumoured salary caps or just trying to cut the wage bill back a bit to prepare for the future as clubs finances are definitely going to feel the impact of the Coronavirus.

So here is how the City retained list is looking...

There were ten players who weren't offered new contracts when there's expired and those players were:

Kelvin Mellor - Mellor was hit and miss at City he suffered a few injuries, his long throws could have been great if he actually used them more than once every three games. The right back often looked so out of place during games and gave up possession and wasn't tracking back enough. I just hope we bring in a decent right back as we have definitely been slacking in this area.

Jake Reeves - This came as a bit of a surprise. Reeves had been missing for a while but returned last season and found himself getting plenty of game time. Granted I personally wasn't too impressed with his performances but it was nice to see him playing again after so long missing.

Shay McCartan - I think this is the biggest surprise for me as in my opinion McCartan is perfect for League 2 however, last season he didn't really have the chance to prove that. McCartan showed everyone just what he could do in League 2 when we loaned him to Lincoln a few seasons ago and he was on the team that won them promotion. Whoever picks him up is going to be getting a great player.

Jordan Gibson - Gibson just never really seemed to find himself getting opportunities at the club and honestly I think one of the best things we did was release him as hopefully he will find a club where he slots right in and gets plenty of playing time.

Jermaine Anderson - Now Anderson was the player that puzzled me when we gave him his last contract extension as he didn't exactly get play time and he just didn't seem to fit into the team dynamics.

Hope Akpan - Now there are certainly mixed opinions on Akpan however, I actually didn't mind him at all. He got us goals last season when we needed them and on his good days he did play well but it seems some people just remember him for the bad days. I think if Akpan gets to the right team he could really help make an impact.

Adam Henley - The left or right back (can easily play in either position) only really seemed to get playtime due to injuries but when he did play I don't think he played that bad. I think if he did get more playtime he could have really grown as a player and helped the team out but it is going to be interesting to see where he ends up.

Daniel Devine - The local lad seems to have been at the club forever, in fact it is the only club he has played for. So to see him go is a bit of a sad day as I really think he has the potential to be a great midfielder, but at least with him now being a free agent he might get picked up by a team that is willing to give him some play time.

Joe Riley - Riley is another player who just never seemed to hit the ground running for City. Whether it was poor performances leading to lack of game time or injuries it just didn't seem to work out for him.

George Sykes-Kenworthy - Sykes-Kenworthy has spent his time at the club as a back up 'keeper but has rarely had game time, I am interested to see where he ends up next and if he gets game time who knows what sort of 'keeper he will end up being.

Loanees Glenn Middleton, Luke McGee, Callum Cooke, Jamie Devitt and Dylan Connolly all returner to their parent clubs but to be honest I think the only one I really bothered about losing was Connolly as he had some fantastic games for the club, got the crowd going and you could see just how much he cared for the result and how he was playing for the badge on the shirt even though he was just a loanee. Chris Taylor and Dylan Mottley-Henry were also released after just short spells at the club, who knows if they may end up returning again in the future.

Goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell is out of contract however, talks are ongoing to negotiate him a contract which to be honest would be great for the club as he is actually a good 'keeper and has performed really well in his previous seasons with a questionable defence in front of him although I am sure some will disagree. Clayton Donaldson & Zeli Ismail's one year extensions were automatically activated and I am looking forward to seeing these players as we definitely didn't get to see enough of them both in the 19/20 season due to injuries.

When you look at the players we have under contract for the 20/21 season on paper you would think we would have already been out of league 2 but we just couldn't get going so hopefully McCall can change the players attitudes and get them playing like they should.

The players under contract are:
Jackson Longridge
Paudie O'Connor
Ben Richards-Everton
Anthony O'Connor
Harry Pritchard
Lee Novak
James Vaughan
Sam Hornby
Tyler French
Connor Wood
Kurtis Guthrie
Reece Staunton

Vaughan spent the majority of last season on loan but I hope we do end up keeping him as I think under McCall's management he could end up doing really well in the league especially when alongside Donaldson or Novak.

I think with the effects of the season ending and the financial impact from the Coronavirus it is certainly going to be interesting to see if anyone else leaves the club or who else we bring is as we need to really rebuild after the past few years and hopefully be challenging for the automatic promotion we should be gaining.

In Conversation With BCWFC's Matthew Kermode


I was lucky enough to be able to send Matthew Kermode a bunch of questions for him to give us a bit more of an insight into his role at Bradford City Women's football club. Matthew is someone who I speak to often due to him being the one I send my programme articles too but I was certainly curious to see what else was included in his role at the club and also just to get to know him a little bit better. So here how that conversation went...

EOTA : Tell us about yourself?  what team (s) do you support from leagues around the world in both the men's & women's game?
Matt : I’m Bradford through and through.  Although I do keep an eye on the UNAM Pumas results from Mexico after a holiday there a few years back.  In the past few weeks Gladbach have become my Bundesliga team.

EOTA: What got you into football (either playing or supporting)?
Matt : My dad, he took me to my first game when City were playing at Odsal, a 5-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the cup wasn’t enough to put me off, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

EOTA : Who is one player you would love to see play for your teams (male or female)?
Matt : I think both Bradford teams could benefit from a proper play maker in the middle of the pitch. Someone who can pick up the ball and make things happen. I had big hopes for Jake Reeves when he arrived at VP, but that never paid off. If we’re talking top footballers, I’m sure Danielle Van de Donk could do a job for BCWFC.

EOTA : What is your earliest memory from the beautiful game?
Matt : I don’t remember much of the first games my dad took me to, especially at Odsal, but I still have a couple of vivid recollections of the BCAFC v England game back at Valley Parade. I remember being starstruck seeing all those international players line up in front of me, but also the experience of seeing my team at their home for the first time.

EOTA: What’s one of the best experiences you have had from the game? 
Matt : City have had some amazing results during my time supporting them, but my best memory of watching BCAFC was actually the away leg in the play-offs at Blackpool in 1996. I remember a lot of discussion on the coach along the lines of “why are we even bothering”. 90 minutes later we knew why.
With the women’s team, seeing them lift the County Cup at FA HQ a couple of seasons back was brilliant, stood next to our Chair Sally for the game watching the players give it their all was an absolute joy.

EOTA : Where are you hoping to see your club (s) in 5 years time?
Matt : It’s very much the same for both Bradford teams.  As far as I’m concerned they’re capable of second tier football with the right set-up in place.  The 2020-21 seasons are going to be absolutely key to kick start the push back up the league.  For the women’s team, that’s going to require some proper backing, both from sponsors and the men’s club, along with a period of stability on the pitch and behind the scenes.

EOTA : Other than the team you support, who are your favourite teams to watch & why?
Matt : That’s a tricky one, I like teams that show a lot of heart and passion (it’s what I expect as a City supporter), but also a bit of flair.  I suppose if I was to pick a Premier League team it would be someone like Wolves at the moment.  The obvious European team would probably be Dortmund.

EOTA : What do you think of your season just gone? 
Matt : Very very weird. At BCWFC we were just getting up some momentum under Chris, he’d made some great changes, the players were clearly bought in to his philosophy, and the performances were improving massively.  I’m of the opinion that the FA did the right thing in terms of ending the season in the way they did. I know there are other sides that don’t agree, but it was the only realistic and practical option for lower level football.
BCAFC’s season was becoming a bit of a non-event, everyone just felt like they were plodding along and going through the motions. If we’d have made it into the play-offs I don’t think we’d have been good enough to progress so I’m not at all disappointed that it was cut short.

EOTA : Who would be in your women's team of the year?
Matt : I’m guessing I can’t nominate the whole BCWFC squad because of how resilient they were after a shocking 2018-19 season? Nearly every one of them was back for 2019-20 and to start with a home win was a remarkable achievement.
If I was to build a world XI it’ll probably be full of players like Vivianne Miedema, Sam Kerr and Pernille Harder. I’d be working on the assumption that we’d just score more than we concede.

EOTA : Where do you see the women's league going and progressing after this disruption due to the coronavirus?
Matt : The future of women’s football worries me. The whole set-up is heavily reliant on the men’s teams, so there will be a lot of dependency on them once things settle down. I’d love to see a bit more money make its way down to both men’s and women’s grassroots football to keep the momentum going, but sadly I don’t see that happening. If every professional men’s team passed on even 1% of their season ticket sales to their women’s side, it’d make a huge difference to the bank balance. In a strange way we’re quite fortunate that we’re 100% amateur at BCWFC, so it means that once the season ended we were actually better off because we had no outgoings. The challenge is going to be balancing the books next season, but we’ve already started looking at how we can work with sponsors.
I’m hoping at some point attitudes towards women’s football improves too.  I’m thoroughly fed up of reading the derogatory comments on social media, people seem to have a lot to say about a sport they claim to not care about, and it’s not good for the confidence of the players.  

EOTA : What does your role at the club involve?
Matt : I’ve got the very long-winded title of Club Secretary & Media Officer.  We’re a very small committee of five volunteers, so everyone takes on as much as they can. For me the secretary side of it is all the admin – signing players, handling communications with the league and other clubs, match arrangements etc, looking at sponsorship too. When I have my media hat on you’ll find me taking care of the social media output with the support of Chris Routledge, live tweeting from as many games as I can get to, producing the match day programme and working with our design partner on the club’s graphics and branding.



EOTA : What made you get involved in the club?
Matt : Strangely it was my divorce.  It was a difficult time, and my eldest daughter was just getting into sport and wanted to spend some 1-2-1 time with me. BCAFC wasn’t a viable option due to time and cost, we went to see BCWFC vs. Blackburn at Eccleshill back in 2016. I started going on my free Sundays, and then saw they were asking for volunteers. I got involved by helping out around the ground on match days, and my role just seemed to snowball from there. When I started there seemed to be really only a committee of two – Sally & Allyson – so I was happy to take on more tasks to help them and to progress the club too. It also gave me something new to get my teeth into.

EOTA : What's the best parts of the role?
Matt : The best part is probably putting out that tweet at the end of a game when we’ve just won, especially in the last couple of seasons when things have been so difficult.

EOTA : What's one of your least fave parts of the role? 
Matt : Probably some of the admin, it’s coming up to registration time, so there’ll be forms from every player to complete, check, and input online. 

EOTA : Is there anything you would say to anyone wanting to join a team’s committee? 
Matt : Without volunteers and committees, grassroots football can’t continue. Clubs need help and support and everyone will have something they can offer. Whether it’s commercial experience to help bring in the funds, or the right licence to drive the bus to away games, every role is vital in keeping a club going behind the scenes.  

EOTA : Any words for anyone wanting to get involved in the women's game besides playing?
Matt : Do it, if you have the time then find your nearest club. Don’t expect women’s football to be like men’s, that’s a common misconception that leads to a lot of grumbles.
You’ll find that generally the women’s game is a lot more honest than the men’s, and certainly at Bradford where no-one receives a penny, you know that everyone on the pitch is there because they want to be, and not because they’re paid to turn up.

Women’s football is becoming a lot more prominent and popular, especially with the upcoming Euros, so now is a great time to get involved to help push the game on.

EOTA : Where can we find you guys (i.e social media channels)
Matt : We’re on Twitter & Instagram at @bcwfc, our website is www.bcwfc.co.uk, and you can find us on Facebook too.

So there you have it, some brilliant points there from Matt about the women's game and just what he does at the club. It has definitely given more insight into what goes on behind the scenes of a lower level club and what the specific roles Matt does involves, he definitely helps the club out a lot.

Who would you like to see me chat to next? If you want to get involved with this new little series feel free to email us at edgeofthearea@gmail.com.

Getting Use Out Of An Agility Ladder


In January I started my fitness and weight loss journey in hopes of losing some weight, getting my knee better and most importantly trying to get back to a stage where I could get back to playing football if I really wanted to even if it is just 5 a side. 

I was on the right track my weight was going down, I was being a lot more activity as I was actually going to the gym but then Covid-19 hit and the gyms were shut. But instead of halting my progress I have continued at home. When both me and Liam were furloughed we were having kick about's in the garden but then when he went back to work I thought I would dig the agility ladder out and try to incorporate that into some solo workouts and it has certainly done me the world of good. 


This agility ladder cost £20 on Amazon and is a 6mtr ladder with rung's however it can be adjusted if needed. It came with a bag and a set of cones all in a nice and small carry bag so you can set up your own drills wherever you are training. The best part is you can very easily use this ladder on any surface. I have used it in the side garden and on the decking and I have had great sessions on both those surfaces and I know I will continue to do so. 

I have stood on the rungs quite a few times whether I have been wearing moulds or trainers and none of them have snapped or even have any damage on so to say they are only plastic you aren't going to have to worry about snapping them and the ladder will last you a while. 

One of my favourite drills to do with this ladder are the lateral quick steps, in fact I actually just did a 15 minute session of these and the amount of calories burnt was unbelievable. I was worried though I was going to get bored of doing these however, a quick search on YouTube brought up plenty of different drills that are going to be suitable for a variety of different skill levels so there are drills for everyone. 

I am absolutely loving using this ladder and I am sure it will be making plenty of appearances on Instagram in the future as it is an item I aren't going to get fed up of soon, in fact I am thinking of adding to the home training set up with some hurdles, so I can create a little bit of a circuit for my workouts. If you are wanting to improve your speed & agility whilst at home this off season I would definitely recommend heading to Amazon and picking up an agility ladder.