My Favourite Premier League Home Shirts 20/21

If you have read this blog since the start you will know I love a good football shirt, but then again who doesn't? In more recent years the designs just seem to get a little more out there as the seasons go on so as the start of the season approaches I actually really enjoy seeing what every team comes out with. 

The Premier League definitely hasn't disappointed this season and there are some great home shirts but here are my favourites for the 2020/21 season...

Manchester City

As soon as this was released I said I liked it as the design is just different to others. I love how it looks like shattered glass or something straight from a piece of David Hockney artwork. Puma have definitely upped their game in recent years with their football shirt designs and it is definitely shown with this design this season.  

Chelsea

Chelsea have definitely kept it simple and actually quite classic with this shirt. I honestly think that is what I like most about it as it is just simple unlike some of the other shirts we are going to see this season. The only thing I aren't really keen on with this shirt is the big 3 on the front, is there any need for sponsors to take up so much space on the front of the shirts?  

Sheffield United 

Classic Sheffield United with the red and white stripes but not too overboard as the shoulders are a nice simple white with the classic Adidas 3 stripes. I love how Adidas have managed to get their mark on the shirt with it not looking out of place and actually make it fit quite well with the overall design. This shirt definitely suits the club's style very well. 

Wolves

I honestly don't know what it is with this shirt but I really like it again though I wish the sponsor on the front was a bit smaller. The colours  are just the classic Wolves colours and the pattern on the shirt is surprisingly nice and doesn't gain to much attention as it is actually quite subtle. 

Manchester United

Of course the Untied home shirt is on this list and honestly it might be my overall favourite. The main colour is the classic red but I just love the little black and yellow lines that make the finer details of the shirt. The shirt isn't too over powering or in your face but is definitely a stand out. I think I may actually end up picking one of these up very soon. 

There you have it those are my favourite Premier League home shirt for the 20/21 season, keep checking back as there is plenty more shirt content to come. But for now which Premier League home shirt is your favourite? 

Match Report : Bradford City Women vs Sunderland West End Ladies


Bradford City women kicked off their Women's FA Cup campaign against Sunderland West End Ladies and unfortunately for Bradford the start was also the end to the campaign as they fell to a 2-0 defeat. Right from the start the West End Ladies came out on the attack by getting themselves into some good positions and winning back a lot of possession, unfortunately for Bradford though even when they did get possession there just wasn't that final piece that fell into place for them. 

The game was very end to end for the majority of the 90 minutes with both teams making some fantastic tackles to save their team but ultimately it was the West End Ladies defence that was the strongest on the day with all players getting back and helping keep City off the score sheet. To be honest there could have been even more goals to West End Ladies if it wasn't for the City 'keeper making some fantastic saves to deny them the opportunity, in fact both goalkeepers had a great game with the West End Ladies 'keeper also pulling off some brilliant saves to deny City. 

West End Ladies first goal came from a bit of a messy play in the box with City unable to clear the ball which fell to the feet of the West End Ladies player before being fired from close range into the back of the net. Their second goal was a bit cleaner with a corner being swung into the box and finding the right player who headed the ball home. 

Possibly City's best chances came when Roberts free kick rattled off the cross bar or when Stuart found the end of a cross but the 'keeper was unfortunately in the right position to collect the ball and diffuse the danger. The majority of City's shots throughout the game ended up going directly to the 'keeper who was either quick to get on the end of the ball or was already where the ball was going. I would say that is easily one area City need to improve on, catching the 'keeper out of the position and aiming to either side of them. That final pass through sometimes let's City too as it can have too much pace on it or just end up at the oppositions feet instead of their own players, I think if they can get that final pass sorted out they are going to end up in some fantastic positions with some brilliant oppositions as the players do get into the box ready to get onto the end of those passes.

This game was another game filled with plenty of free kicks and a few questionable challenges which could have escalated if the players hadn't managed to calm themselves down. Both teams were definitely getting frustrated with the referee as well as the crowd and the players and fans didn't hide the fact they thought some decisions were uncalled for or needed. It was great to be at a game with some atmosphere and being able to hear the fans and how passionate they were and to see the celebrations when that final whistle went was great even as a Bradford fan, you could just see how much that win meant to the Sunderland West End Ladies team and their travelling fans. 

Well done to Sunderland West End Ladies for picking up the win but let's hope City can get back to winning ways soon as the team certainly has great potential they just need to work on a few areas and finally pick up some more goals.

More NWSL Players Coming To England, Is It A Good Thing?

 


This season we have seen a lot of players coming over to the FAWSL from the NWSL. It all started towards the end of last season really with the Australians Kerr, Raso and Foord joining Chelsea, Everton & Arsenal but since the return for the new season there has been a whole lot more names added to the list. 


Obviously the FAWSL season ended in a way no one could have predicted with the coronavirus cancelling the league but that was towards the end of the season anyway, not like with the NWSL which was due to start just as the whole pandemic situation really began to escalate. We saw the Euro’s postponed and pushed back a year and the same happened with the Olympics. I guess when you think about it the NWSL players had to find somewhere quick to get game time to try secure places on their International teams for those tournaments and with no news on what was happening over in the NWSL a lot of them have opted to join the English top flight. It is funny how things panned out really as not long after the first round of players signed for English clubs the NWSL announced the Spring series but we didn’t see some of the big names star in it. Then they announced the Fall series but players still kept signing for the WSL teams. 


It is great to see some of the biggest names from the World Cup winning USWNT here in the UK and it is only going to held boost the ratings for the league with more American fans tuning in to see how some of their favourite players are doing. I think it is what the league has needed for a while, we saw attention pick up when Dunn, O’Reilly & Lloyd all joined a few years ago but since then it has been a case of the USWNT sticking to the NWSL or going elsewhere in Europe. The FAWSL is an exciting & competitive league though and with play time needed for the big tournaments coming up I think a lot of players will have been encouraged to join due to that factor and that they would be challenging and pushing themselves each week to earn a place on that team sheet.


We have already seen the sort of impact the signings are having off the pitch, commentators can’t stop talking about Morgan, Lavelle & Mewis and it even made the main news a few times here in the UK so more people were made aware of the league. It was also recently announced that sales of the Manchester United shirt with Heath & Press on the back outsold every other Manchester United player sales since they were announced which when you think about it is pretty unbelievable. Who would have thought that even though the United men’s team aren’t doing well at the moment that Heath & Press would out sell the likes of Fernandes, Rashford, Martial and De Gea? I know I definitely wouldn’t have predicted this.


Another positive for all these stars coming to the league is that the players who have held starting places on team sheets for years are now getting that challenging that has been needed for a while. The league has always been filled with great English talent but now that talent has to fight against some fantastic international players to get in that first 11. This will hopefully make the England national team a bit stronger in the long run as it means the English layers who just had a walk on spot for their club team will have to fight for it now, so we should see an increase in their fitness and playing levels to help them get on the sheet again. Take Jill Scott for example she was always one of the first names you would see when she wasn’t carrying an injury but now Mewis is getting that starting spot and Scott is sat on the bench. But knowing the kind of player Jill is she will push herself to earn that spot back and keep under the England management’s radar. Whilst this is a positive it can also be a bit of a negative because if players are genuinely picked due to their name and to bring attention to the club then the English players who have been at that club for a long time might end up losing valuable playtime and their chances of possibly some of their last tournaments passing them by. No one wants to see a players work so hard their whole career and for it to end in a way like this so fingers crossed it doesn’t happen to anyone. 


Another thing that could possibly happen is those youngsters who were just breaking through into the first teams may end up being pushed back and be left feeling frustrated with the lack of game time they are receiving. A lot of young players were just starting to come into some of the big injury hit teams and were starting to make a bit of a name for themselves and get on the international radar, so you can only imagine how they would be left feeling if all those first team call ups were just stopped due to a player who might not be around for a long time. It could end up effecting players fitness too, if a player is used to playing 70+ minutes each week is then left to sit on the bench who knows what long term effect it could have on their fitness levels if it is something that happens over and over again. 


With that being said some players such as Alex Morgan and Rachel Daly are only here until December so what if a team goes to build itself around a player such as Alex Morgan and there is no extension at the end of the initial loan? Will we just see teams decline in a quick period of time? I really hope teams aren't relying on the NWSL players too much as there is so much potential in the UK as it is so others should get a chance to show of their skill too. Who knows that striker Spurs keep on the bench to give Morgan game time may just end up out performing her. 


With an influx of talent coming over to the UK those who haven't really followed the NWSL previously might not know some of the big names that have come over the FAWSL so here are the ones I think you should be keeping an eye on. 


Alessia Russo - A big name for such a young talent. Russo hasn't actually played in the NWSL but she did opt to come to the FAWSL instead of beginning her pro career in the NWSL. Russo was a well sort after player in terms of international teams was she going to play for England or the USWNT ? Well it seems like she has picked England and is definitely a name to watch for the future. I can see her doing really well at Manchester United.


Hayley Raso - Even a broken back couldn't stop this Australian from losing her playing ability, in fact I think since she has returned from that major injury she has just got better and better. Everton have definitely got a great player on their hands who is more than capable of scoring plenty of goals for them. 


Sam Mewis - The midfielder can tower over the opposition and is lethal with the ball at her feet as she can shoot and score from distance as we saw plenty of times when she was in the NWSL. Not only can Mewis score but she is also a playmaker, her distribution from midfield is absolutely brilliant and she creates some great opportunities for her team mates.


Tobin Heath - For anyone who hasn't properly seen Heath play yet, well you are in for a treat. Heath's skill levels are unbelievable from nutmegs to rainbow flicks she has it all. But Heath doesn't off throughout the games she just does it to get out of situations what is amazing though is her crosses. She can pick out players from anywhere and help create plenty of chances, given a chance herself though she is no stranger to finding the back of the net. 


Jessie Fleming - The young Canadian is straight from college to the FAWSL to represent Chelsea. Fleming is a player who I have watched closely when she has played for Canada as even though she is still a young age she has plenty of potential. She can move easily around the midfield, win challenges and get her team in dangerous positions, she is certainly a player to keep your eye on in the future. 


Christen Press - Christen has often been over looked by the USWNT but we saw just how good she was when she came up against England in the World Cup semi finals. Able to get herself in plenty of space to find the back of the net and plenty of pace when she is on the attack. I really do think that the FAWSL can really bring the best out of Press.


So here are the list of players who have made the jump to the FAWSL recently. I am sure there will be some I have missed as there were just so many to keep up with, but if there is a name missing let me know and I will add it in...


Sam Kerr

Caitlin Foord 

Rose Lavelle

Sam Mewis

Steph Catley

Lydia Williams  

Jess Fishlock

Hayley Raso

Mackenzie Arnold 

Jessie Fleming

Chloe Logarzo 

Alanna Kennedy

Shelina Zardosky

Rachel Daly 

Alex Morgan 

Denise O'Sullivan

Tobin Heath

Christen Press 

Rachel Corsie

Alessia Russo

Emily Van Egmond 

Claire Emslie


So there you have it those are the players that have left the NWSL for now to come and give the FAWSL a go. Do you think this will benefit the league or do you think other players may suffer? 

Match Report : Bradford City Women vs Norton & Stockton

 

Finally after what has felt like far too long we finally got to go back to watch a league game for Bradford City Women as they took on Norton & Stockton Ancients. Unfortunately the 1st game of the season was behind closed doors, then we ended up having an enforced break but finally the team were back on the pitch and ready to make an impact. Not only was it our first game back but it was also our nephews first ever live football game and I think he enjoyed the action to. 

City started off looking very threatening, making some promising runs but unfortunately the Norton & Stockton back line managed to deny them every time by making some brilliant challenges that definitely kept them in the game. Norton & Stockton then gained pace themselves and make some fantastic breaks but this time it was City's defence keeping Norton & Stockton at bay.

It was Norton & Stockton who made the breakthrough though when they were awarded a penalty which they slotted home nicely. The penalty came from a moment of frustration, City lost the ball and just lacked judgement when trying to win the ball back. Not long after they found themselves 2-0 up through a pretty well worked goal. 

It didn't take too long for City to get back into the game though as a very well worked free kick was turned into the back of the net by Keegan Lambert. City managed to draw the game level before halftime by yet another free kick that was this time slotted home by Katy Woodcock. I think after seeing City's performance with free kicks today they could really threaten other teams if they get brought down in their own half. 

The game was very end to end for the full 90 minutes with each side trying to grab that winning goal but unfortunately neither of them could and the game ended 2-2 giving City their 1st point of the season and hopefully they are only going to gain more and more as they progress this season. 

To say Bradford haven't played in a few weeks it didn't look like it effected the team much as they looked consistent and threatening that final 3rd just needs a bit more work but that will all start to come together as the team gets more minutes together under their belt. Throughout this game there were a few stray passes from either side but then they would find some brilliant passes which just goes to show the ability is there and given more game time this little issue should easily be ironed out. 

There was also quite a few stoppages in play thanks to the referee seemingly happy to hand out free kicks out for any slight touch at some points. Maybe if there weren't so many stoppages for each side there would have been more time for the teams to piece those passes together and get into the run of play more. 

It was great to be back and you can certainly see the improvements the Chris Hames has made to the City team and I am excited to see what is to come from the side as there is definitely a lot of potential for the season ahead. 

Favourite Stadiums I Visited So Far

I have been lucky enough to go to plenty of football games over the years, whether they have been in the league, FA Cup, friendlies or charity games. This means that I have been to plenty of  stadiums over the years and there have been some great stadiums and some not so great stadiums. So here are the favourite stadiums I have visited so far...


Valley Parade
Of course the home of Bradford City is the first on this list as it is where I spend most of my weekends and even plenty of Tuesday nights. This is a stadium I have been visiting for years now and I just love it (I might be biased as it is the stadium for the team I support). I actually think it is wasted on us at times as it can feel so empty during some games. But to say it is a stadium for a league 2 team you really can't go wrong, it is huge and there can be a brilliant atmosphere, we just need to start to bring it back.


Wembley Stadium
Unfortunately I have only been to this stadium once but I am hoping to go back plenty of times in the future and I want to eventually do the stadium tour for this one too. Even just the look of the stadium from a distance is great and you can't beat walking up to the stadium on Wembley Way, the atmosphere is fantastic walking on here & inside the stadium too. The views inside the stadium are fantastic too, we were actually sat at the back of one of the levels but you could see everything.


Etihad Stadium
Now this stadium I haven't actually watched the football at, I have been to a few concerts & rugby matches here and they were fantastic so I would love to experience an actual football match at the stadium. Honestly the first time I went I wasn't too sure what to make of it as the outside looks great but what would the inside look like? Well it was fantastic as I say the first time I went to this stadium was actually for a rugby game and it was fantastic, walking up those spiral ramps and finally seeing the pitch. The view from where we was sitting was great too.


City Academy Stadium
The Academy Stadium is where Manchester City Women play there games and it is an absolutely brilliant stadium. It is the perfect size for the women's team and academy teams which play there and is nice and open. The views are great but the best part is the leg room, some stadiums you go to you can feel cramped together and like there is not much room for movement however, here you can move about comfortably and there is actually space for people to get past you without the need to stand up.


Old Trafford
Of course the home of Manchester United is on the list. Old Trafford is a stadium I have been to many times over the years. I have been to this stadium for both rugby and football matches and I love it. The Stadium is great on both the inside and the outside and the atmosphere inside the stadium is fantastic too, it has honestly never disappointed me. I did the tour for my 16th birthday too and that is something I am going to remember forever and in fact I want to go back and do it again.


Anfield
Now I never thought that something to do with Liverpool would be in a favourite list of mine but honestly Anfield is such a great stadium. I would actually love to go back and do a stadium tour of the ground because I think it would be brilliant. We actually only went here for a charity game but the atmosphere was fantastic which make me wonder just what it would be like to go watch an actual Liverpool game there.

So there you have it those are the favourite stadiums I have visited so far, I would love to finally go to some stadiums abroad in the future as there is actually quite a few I have wanted to visit for a while now. What are some of your favourite stadiums you have visited?

In Conversation With BCWFC Treasurer Allyson Matthews



Carrying on our 'In Conversation Series' we have recently had the chance to have a chat with Allyson Matthews, treasurer of Bradford City Women. It was great to hear from someone who deals with the financial side of things at a lower league club, especially one that hasn't shied away from talking about money troubles recently so here is what Allyson had to say...


I’m currently the treasurer for Bradford City ladies, and have been in post for the past 7 or so years. As the treasurer I deal with the financial side of the club: banking, subs, administration tasks, etc.

 

I took up the post when my daughter Rosie (McDonnell) was playing for BCWFC. She was the one who got me into football!...at the age of 7 she ‘nattered’ to play. Having gone through the formalities of girly things: ballet, swimming, gymnastics etc I eventually gave in and took her to a local boys team – Bradford Tigers.As the only girl she was welcomed into the team and continued to play until the rules came in that she could not longer play mixed football. She signed with a local ladies team at the age of 11 and has continued to play ever since for several 

teams at different levels and leagues.

 

I currently support Portsmouth ladies FC, but also follow the Armed Forces Women, Royal Navy Women (Rosie’s current teams) and of course Bradford City Women’s FC.

 

My best football experience was at the England V Germany game at Wembley in November 2019 –Wembley is such an amazing stadium, the atmosphere with all the young people supporting women’s football was just fantastic I felt proud to support England. Rosie was chosen by the armed forces to represent the Royal Navy to lay a remembrance wreath before the game.

 

Unfortunately the last few seasons have been quite difficult at the club (BCWFC), with the loss of players, management, loss of committee members and the junior sections becoming part of football in the Community. A new manager joined us last season 2019/20 & I’m hoping he will rebuild the club and return it to Premier League football one day. Coronavirus has affected everyone not just in sport. I think it will be some time before people will be able to attend matches and support their local teams, also the question of a second wave? Will the forthcoming season begin and/or play out to the end who knows?.

 

I would love to encourage more people to volunteer  to help run clubs, our committee has been together for quite a few years. I think it’s easier for junior clubs I.e. parents helping out etc, but it is more difficult for senior sides, there doesn’t seem to be as much enthusiasm. Most of our committee work full time outside the club, we have to make time to attend meetings, sometimes it is difficult when you have been working all week. I don’t know much about the rules/regulations of football,  teams and players from other clubs – although I should do by now!. I know that during my time at Bradford City, I enjoy the involvement, the people I meet and work with, I would recommend being a volunteer.

 

You can find the club on Facebook and twitter under Bradford City Women’s FC.


Who would you like to see us chat to next?

How Do I Think The FAWSL Is Going To GO

Carrying on with the season prediction posts today we have the FASWL predictions, this post was actually written before the season begun on the 5th of September so these predictions were made before the season actually kicked off therefore is not dependant on any results that may have already happened. Remember these predictions are just my personal opinion, you may have different ones but this post is what I personally think. 

The long awaited return of the FAWSL is finally happening, after so many months away from regular action the new season finally kicks off on the 5th September and it is bound to be an exciting one. Towards the end of last season which was unfortunately cancelled early due to Covid-19, we saw some big moves to the league such as Hayley Raso, Caitlin Foord and Sam Kerr all making moves to the UK but due to the abrupt end to the season we never really got to see their potential, in fact we never really saw Raso at all due to her getting injured on International duty. However, we finally get to see those signings in action along with a lot more big names joining the league such as Sam Mewis, Rose Lavelle and much more (full post coming on that soon). This off season has definitely been excited for us WSL fans as sides have really thrown a lot into strengthening their teams and I think it is going to be fantastic for the development for the league and I think that we are really going to see a more competitive league this season which is going to be great to watch. 

So here is how I think that the league is going to be come the end of the season...

Chelsea

Manchester City 

Arsenal

Manchester United 

Everton 

West Ham

Reading

Tottenham

Birmingham

Brighton

Bristol 

Aston Villa 

Honestly thinking of the final positions of teams for this season was actually quite difficult as each team has actually strengthened their team but honestly I think even though Manchester City & Arsenal have brought in some absolutely fantastic players I think Chelsea might just end up topping the league as they have brought in some absolutely fantastic players that are just going to pip those other teams to the top spot. If Harder, Kerr and England could all play together they could run away with the league. I think Manchester United & Everton could easily be breathing down the necks of the top 3 as their new signings have been fantastic and if the teams gel together they are certainly going to put up a fight.

In terms of the opposite end of the table I honestly couldn't decide who was going to finish where however, I do think it is going to be tight down there and every point is going to end up counting towards survival. I do think though it could be Villa & Bristol down there in the bottom 2, I just think Villa might struggle for their first season and that Bristol just don't seem to have brought in enough to keep them as competitive as the rest of the league. 

Just like with the other predictions I have made recently we will check back in on these predictions in January and at the end of the season. Who do you think are going to be top 3 and bottom 3 this season?

How Do I Think Bradford City Women & Brighouse Town Women Are Going To Do This Season?



The new FAWNL kicks off on the 20th September and once again I will be following this league closely. Last season was my first season properly watching the FAWNL and unfortunately it was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the season was cut short I really enjoyed going and watching a different league and seeing different teams even though the season wasn't going too well for Bradford. The season brought some great opportunities for me and really opened my eyes to life away from top flight women's football, that is why I will be following it closely once again. 

The league I follow is Division 1 North due to my favourites, Bradford City Women being in this league as well as local team Brighouse Town Women. I may follow Bradford as my main team however, I certainly keep a close eye on Brighouse too as they aren't too far away from me and they play some brilliant football. 

Where as Bradford seemed to struggle last season Brighouse were definitely flying high and could have easily topped the league if it hadn't ended so abruptly. Bradford however, were saved from the abrupt ending and thanks to there being no relegation they live to see Division 1 North for another season. 

When you look at Bradford towards the end of last season they were really starting to make some progress on field with the appointment of Chris Hame's as the new manager but unfortunately that ground to a halt with the cancellation of the season. In the off season though they have rebuilt, retained some great players & brought in some new to strengthen the squad and fingers crossed Chris can build on the progress he made at the end of last season and that City are going to get off to a good start and keep building momentum to have a much stronger season and avoid relegation. 

Brighouse where the total opposite to Bradford last season and were doing absolutely fantastic and could have honestly pushed to win the league if the season hadn't ended as it did. Again though they have moved on in the off season and although they have lost a few players they have retained some fantastic names and brought in some other fantastic players who are just going to add strength and depth to the squad. I think Brighouse are definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with and are going to be challenging for that top spot again and looking at the potential of the squad they could quite possibly make it. 

Both teams have really built up their squads and have been working hard in the off season and I think both teams can do really well this upcoming season. Fingers crossed Bradford become at least a mid table team this season as I do believe they have the potential to finish there. I really think we will see Brighouse challenging that top 2 spot this coming season too 

Although this isn't like my other predictions posts we will check back on Bradford and Brighouse's progress in January and then again at the end of the season.

How well do you think either of these teams are going to do?

Premier League 2020/21 Predictions



So following on from my League 2 predictions today we have my Premier League predictions. The Premier League is a league I follow closely due to my love for Manchester United, they have always been a team I have followed very closely and I would go as far as saying they are my 2nd team I follow them that much. Granted they haven't been doing that well lately but who knows this season might give them a bit more luck. 

The Premier League is full of exceptional talent and when it comes to predicting the league it is actually quite difficult as each team has different stand out points. However here is what I think the league is going to look like come the end of the season, again just remember these are just my personal opinions, everyone is going to have different opinions.

Manchester City

Liverpool 

Chelsea

Manchester United

Arsenal

Tottenham

Leicester

Wolves

Everton

Newcastle 

Sheffield United 

Burnley 

Brighton 

Crystal Palace

Leeds

West ham 

Southampton 

Fulham

West Brom

Aston Villa 

It really was difficult to come up with these predictions as to be honest a lot of teams have really been building up their squads in the off season, especially Chelsea which is why I think they could end up in the top 3 if those new signings really gel together. Similarly I think if the new signings for Leeds actually link up well together they could end up staying in the league at the end of the season as they really haven't held back when it comes to strengthening the team. When it comes to the bottom of the table this really was the hardest as I just can't work out how it is going to go, I really do think it could be a tight season at both ends of the table. 

Again I will do a follow up post on these predictions in January and then again at the end of the season. But who do you think are going to make up the top and bottom 3? 

Bradford City 3rd Shirt 2020/21


 So we have had the home shirt and away shirts released from Bradford City for the 2020/21 season and today it is time for the shirt I was possibly most excited for.. the 3rd shirt. Last season we had the orange shirt which was my favourite of the 3 as it was just so bright and stood out from what we had previously. Honestly though after the release of this 3rd shirt I don't know why I was so excited...

The 'fusion grey' shirt looks more white in images so I am going to have to wait to see it in person to see it's true colour, the shirt is made to look more like a Bradford City shirt with barely visible stripes and claret & amber details. 

Just like with the home and away shirts this one also has the overlapping v-neck collar that fits into the shirt design nicely. It also has those cuffed sleeves which by now you know I love. The taping detail is in the City claret & amber colours just adding that city feel to it. The sponsors and Avec logo are also in claret to fit into the theme. The only other bit of colouring on the shirt is the Bradford City badge with that one star.  Again this shirt has the ribbon on the back to pay tribute to those who sadly lost their lives in the Valley Parade fire disaster. 

As with the home and away shirt this one is also lightweight and made to keep you dry and comfortable. It also has the side mesh panel to allow that extra air flow which as you know I definitely welcome for working out in or sitting watching games in the heat. 

To finish off the kit City will be wearing fusion grey shorts and socks with claret and amber trim so that design is going to flow right through the kit.


If you want to pick this shirt up for yourself an adult shirt is £49.95, youth is £45, Juniors is £37.50 and an infant one is £26 but this comes with shorts.

I definitely prefer the away shirt over this 3rd kit and to be honest I think now after seeing all 3 my favourite is definitely the away shirt. What is your favourite of the 3? 

League 2 20/21 Season Predictions



As the new seasons approach I will be doing prediction posts for those leagues I watch regularly and follow the most. This is just a personal opinion based on what I have seen previously, heard about in preseason you will all have your own opinions but the blog posts over the next few weeks will show mine. We will do a check in on these at the start of January and then again at the end of the season. To kick off this little prediction series we are going to be looking at how I think League 2 is going to play out. 

As a Bradford fan of course I am going following this league closer than others as it is where my team play, it is also the league I watched most last season (when it was being played). Unfortunately last season McCall didn't really have the time with the club last season due to it ending early but I think he could have really made a difference to the squad and got us back to winning ways. We have Barrow and Harrogate who were promoted up into the league with it being Harrogate's first time it is going to be intesting to see how they do. Then we have Bolton, Southend and Tranmere who were all relegated from League One, could they bounce back or are they going to stay in League 2 a little longer? Bolton have really suffered thanks to financial issues lately but can they get back on track? 

So here is how I think the league is going to finish? 

Bolton

Southend 

Bradford City 

Forest Green Rovers

Tranmere  

Exeter

Cheltenham

Scunthorpe

Leyton Orient

Salford

Oldham

Port Vale 

Newport

Crawley 

Grimsby 

Walsall 

Mansfield 

Carlisle

Colchester

Stevenage 

Cambridge 

Morecambe

Harrogate 

Barrow 

I really do think Bolton have the ability to bounce straight back up and win the league if the signings they have brought in can gel together quickly. I also think Bradford can really push for promotion with McCall in charge as we know he can get the best out of players plus the pre-season vs Huddersfield showed we had really strengthened during the off season. In terms of the bottom of the table I just think Harrogate & Barrow may struggle in the league especially coming off the back of not playing regular football before preseason, I really hope I am wrong on this one though as they are teams with quite a bit of potential. 

So there you have it that is my league 2 prediction. Who do you think will make up the top and bottom 3? 


Bradford City Women vs Doncaster Belles : Match Report


 Well it is good to be back and finally writing my first match report in far too long. We are finally allowed back into stadiums so we headed off to the Bradford 

City Women vs Doncaster Belles friendly at the Mitton Group Stadium and it certainly didn't disappoint. It seems like the off season and some work on the pitch have really improved it's condition since the end of the last season when games were constantly being postponed due to the weather and pitch conditions. It was nice to see plenty of fans in the ground too with Doncaster bringing plenty of fans with them. 

Doncaster were the first out of the block's from kick off however Richard's was on hand to deny them taking the lead. Doncaster did take the lead in the 7th minute though with a nicely worked goal. It didn't take much longer for them to double their lead either as by the 12th minute they were 2-0 up after what looked like a scrappy corner was turned home. 

City came close to pulling a goal back in the 39th minute but unfortunately Harriet Jakeman's shot was saved brilliantly by the Belle's 'keeper. City did manage to pull a goal back to go into half time at 2-1 to Doncaster. City's goal didn't disappoint either as it was a fantastic strike from Keegan Lambert which found it's way through the Belle's 'keepers legs and into the back of the next. It was certainly a strong 1st half from both sides with the Belle's coming out on top. 

In the 2nd half there wasn't too much action to report on with both sides battling it out in the midfield trying to get another goal on the board. Unfortunately for Bradford it was Doncaster that found a breakthrough and got their 3rd after a fantastic free kick curled it's way into the back of the goal. 

The game finished with the Belle's winning 3-1 but there were definitely some positives from the game for Bradford to take away. City certainly seemed a lot stronger and a lot more physical than last season so it just goes to show how much work they have put in during the off season, they were winning more battles for the ball due to this which will definitely help them during the new season. 

City were also moving the ball around much better and getting into some good positions thanks to this however, there will still a few wayward passes in the mix that lost them possession there was a lot less than previous games. City still seemed to struggle in the final 3rd again with players often having a lack of support after a break and having to go backwards or give the ball away. If they had a little support then they will certainly have had a lot more chances and possibly a few more goals. 

Doncaster did really well pressing and putting pressure on City which gave them some great opportunities and they played extremely well for the full 90 minutes, I think if they play like this for the full season they could end up doing really well. They were getting in around the back of the City defence a little too easily which put them in some great positions however, City 'keeper Richard's made some fantastic saves to keep City in it. City did also make some good interceptions throughout the game to deny some Doncaster chance and also create their own however, not much seemed to come from this due to the lack of support in the final 3rd. 

There has definitely been some great improvement from Bradford during the off season and they did look a lot better than the end of last season and a lot stronger. I really think if they play like this against teams in their own league they are really going to be able to hold their own and do well in the league.

Roll on the 20th September for the start of the FAWNL.

Bradford City Away Shirt


Following on from last week's look at the Bradford City 2020/21 home shirt today we are going to take a look at the Bradford City 2020/21 away shirt which to be quite honest with you I prefer over the home shirt as Avec have gone for one of my favourite City away shirt colourways. The shirt is in the Barcelona style navy clue and claret which I absolutely love and have loved when we have had it in previous year. I love how this seasons shirt features fading claret stripes as it just makes it a little different from previous. 

Similarly to the home shirt the away shirt also features the overlapping V neck collar which doesn't actually look V neck. You also have the cuffed ribbed sleeves similal to the home shirt and I love how they haven't put these in claret but have kept them in the navy blue that flows with the shirt a lot better. 

The sleeves also have the Avec taping just like the home shirt but this time in white. The taping just adds a little something extra to the shirt and stands out without taking over the shirt. It is different to what we have had in previous years but again it fits in without looking out of place. 

Again this shirt is a lightweight, interlock polyester that is designed to keep you dry and comfortable which if is like last year as I said with the home shirt this is going to be spot on as I actually prefer the comfort of the Avec shirt compared to some of the bigger branded football shirts. This is another shirt with the side mesh panel are again something that I always welcome to shirts as if I am wearing these to work out in I like that extra air flow. 

Just like the home shirt the JCT600 and Mitton group logos take centre stage in the white so they stand out but don't take away from the design of the overall shirt and the white just flows with the rest of the design. You also have the club badge, one star and Avec logo on the front with the traditional black ribbon on the back to pay tribute to the victims of the Valley Parade fire disaster. 

To finish off this kit the team will be playing in blue shorts & socks with the claret & white trim which all flows well with the design not like some kits where nothing matches and they look out of place. 

What I loved most about this launch though was how Bradford actually got their women's team involved. It was great to see Katy Woodcock & Maisie Norde in the images along side men's team players Richards-Everton, Callum Cooke & Connor Wood. I always love to see the male and female sides linking up together, I just hope there are more things like this in the future as the women's team can definitely benefit from it in the long run.  

If you are looking to pick up this shirt it will cost you £49.95 for the adults, £45 for the youth, £37.50 for the juniors and £26 for the Infants which comes with shorts.

Out of the shirts we have seen so far from Bradford I think I do prefer the away to the home shirt just because it is in the navy and claret colour. Which do you prefer?

Bradford City Home Shirt For The 2020/21 Season


In July us Bradford City fans were in for a treat as the new home shirt for the 2020/21 season was unveiled. In my opinion once again Avec have created us a fantastic shirt once again. The shirt has the horizontal stripes I love and the extra detailing on the sleeve just gives us something a little different from previous years. Also something a little different is the pinstripe details on the front and back of the shirt. 


The Avec taping on the sleeve is finished off with the cuffed sleeves which for me is fantastic as I do actually enjoy having the cuffed sleeves as I feel it gives a better fit. The overlapping V neck collar in the amber colour is fantastic as it just has the neckline stand out breaking up the stripes. 


The shirt is again a lightweight interlock polyester which is designed to keep you dry and comfortable which if it is anything like in previous years it definitely will do exactly that as I have always been very comfortable in all the Avec City shirts I have had over the years. The side mesh panels to allow airflow to the body are also a very welcomed addition to the shirt. 


Once again JCT600 and Mitton group are the club's principal partners so JCT600 are on the front of the shirt whilst Mitton Group are pride of place on the back. The only other things on the shirt before the players name and number is the clubs badge with that start for the FA Cup win back in 1911 and the Avec logo on the front, then you have the traditional ribbon on the back to pay tribute to those who tragically lost their lives in the Valley Parade fire disaster back in May 1985. The kit is once again finished of with black shorts and socks with a claret and amber trim. 

If you are looking to pick up one of these shirts and Adult one will cost you £49.95, Youth £45.00, Juniors £37.50 and the infants one will be £26 but this also comes with shorts. The 2020/21 shirt printing is also just £14.95 for any name and number which again isn't a bad cost. 
So that is the home shirt keep checking back for the post about the away shirt coming very soon. What are your thoughts on the Bradford City home shirt for the 20/21 season? I can't wait to see both the men's & women's teams wearing this shirt. 

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.