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, 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

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