A round up of the FAWNL Division 1 North


We seemed to blink and the season has flown by this time around and what a great season it has been across many leagues with some very competitive games played all over the country. Our focus this season though was on the FAWNL Division 1 North where Bradford City Women were playing their football and hoping to make progress after a relegation into the league then continuous disruption from the pandemic, they could never hit the ground running and poor Chris Hames was looking to complete his first season in charge 2 and a bit years after taking charge. 

We started watching this league back in 2019 when we started up Edge of the Area as we wanted to write reports based on our local team Bradford City's games and to be honest we very quickly came to fall in love with the league and opted to spend our Sunday's watching this league rather than travelling to Manchester like we used to when we went to watch Manchester City a lot. 

This was our first full season of watching the league thanks to pandemic cancellations, we really did start the blog at the wrong time, but it was great to get really involved and invested in the league as it was an interesting season. There were teams we hadn't seen before putting in some brilliant performances then you had Bradford who really stepped it up a gear this season but more on that in its own post very soon. 

Sometimes leagues are just run by 1 or 2 teams however in this league up until the mid point of the season it really was anyone's league to win with all teams showing what they were capable of however, that did change towards the end of the season when the top 2 Liverpool Feds and Newcastle were starting to gain momentum and run away with the league whilst chasing for that 1 promotion spot. At the bottom of the table it was close for the majority of the season with 3 teams going down, Bradford were trying their hardest to get away from the drop zone however, those teams around them were putting in some promising perfromances too. It would eventually go down to the final few games to decide who went down and luckily for Bradford their performances ended up getting the a mid table finish whilst unfortunately we saw Alnwick, Chester-Le-Street and FC United all relegated from the league. In the final few games Liverpool pulled away from Newcastle too which saw the Feds grab that well deserved promotion. The league was actually that tight towards the end of the season we were constantly checking the results of those teams around us to make sure we weren't back in that danger zone and luckily results were going in our favour.

The league had some great games as I said earlier and it also provided us with a few shock results like Chorley beating high flying Newcastle when they were really pushing for those points to gain promotion, I don't think anyone really saw that coming. Then you have the West Yorkshire derby games of Bradford vs Leeds where City managed to beat Leeds in the home fixture before drawing 3-3 in the reverse fixture. I think these games just went to show how far City have come as previously Leeds would have put a fair few past City without a response but it just goes to show City's improvement.

There were some great attendances in the league this season too and to be honest I think it just goes to show us all how far the women's game has come along in recent years. This isn't even the top league and we saw just over 22,000 fans turn up to watch Newcastle take on Alnwick at St James Park, which shows if you market the games right those fans will make their way through the turnstiles. We also saw over 500 fans at Valley Parade for Bradford City vs Leeds United and for an evening game I don't think it is that bad at all it was during term time and people still headed there with kids even after a long days work. 

I think if the teams that have remained in the league after this season can really capitalise on the progress they have made we could see another very close season with a few surprise names pushing for that promotion spot, I know I would definitely like to see Bradford really making a push for it and they could be ones to keep an eye on as I think with a consistent preseason under their belt we could really see them hit the ground running when the new season begins. Newcastle are another team to watch as with the new owners getting involved with the women's team I think they are going to put the rest of the league through their paces and make an even bigger push for promotion now Liverpool are out of their way. We have seen Hull City relegated to this league too and he question is are they going to bounce straight back up or are they going to take some time to settle into their league?

Fingers crossed next season is as close as this one was as it made for a very interesting league to follow and I am already excited for the new season to begin as weekends are definitely boring without a game to watch, I am even looking forward to heading to some preseason games to see how the Bradford team is looking heading into the new season. 

There have been plenty of interesting moments throughout the season but my favourite games definitely has to be Bradford City vs Leeds United at Valley Parade as I was up in the press box for this one and it was overall just a fantastic game and to see the joy on the City players faces when they won was fantastic, fingers crossed we can see the team at Valley Parade again next season putting in another great performance. 

If you watched any of the FAWNL Division 1 North last season what was your favourite game?

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