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Why Newcastle Need Promotion.

Newcastle women are the only professional club outside the top two tiers of women's football in England. They have had a strong season in tier 3, currently sitting at top of the National League North and having reached the final of the FA Women's National League Cup.


The Magpies could end the season with two pieces of silverware, including promotion to the Championship. However, if they fail to achieve promotion, it could be detrimental to women's football.


Newcastle's Saudi Arabian owners are prioritising the growth of their women's team, with the aim to reach the Women's Super League by 2025. In order to achieve this monumental task, Newcastle would have to achieve promotion in three successive seasons.


Newcastle United became the first women's football club outside of the WSL and Championship to become fully professional since Fulham in 2000.


Last season, Newcastle won the FA Women's National League Division 1 North, the fourth tier of women's football. They are on course to win this season's FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division, the third tier of women's football. The Magpies are currently nine points clear of second-place Nottingham Forest. Should they win the league, they will earn promotion to the Championship.


If Newcastle fail to reach the Championship, this could set a negative precedent to the other tier 3 clubs, possibly hindering the growth of the Women's National League. But why?



With Newcastle's owners taking the step of making their women's team full-time professionals, they now must win the National League Northern Premier Division to prove that being a professional club, working full-time and receiving more funding is important if National League clubs wish to be successful.


If Nottingham Forest close the current nine point gap and manage to overtake Newcastle to win the league, then this will reflect poorly on Newcastle, with people likely to question the necessity of going professional in the third tier, as Forest are only a semi-professional side.


Newcastle's head coach, Becky Langley said "If we let a Burnley or a Forest, who are on a hybrid part-time model, win the league, then other clubs will go, 'Well actually, you don't need to go full-time, you can still do it part-time'.



If National League clubs adopt this mindset that they don't need to be professional, then it could drastically slow down the progress of the professional women's game expanding to outside the top two tiers.


The current semi-professional players in the third tier will struggle to develop themselves and keep up with new signings if they are never given the opportunity to train full-time.


Bringing in new signings from Championship and WSL clubs or academies is not always the solution to creating a stronger National League side.


If the current National League players were given the same full-time support and better-funded resources that WSL players receive, then they would be able to develop their skills and talents to become better players.


Third tier clubs endorsing a professional model will help to bridge the divide between the National League and the top two flights, making women's football in England more competitive and attractive.



Newcastle United have been taking large strides in helping to grow the Women's National League.


Newcastle's Langley said "we hope to be a leading light in the movement towards professionalism in the women's game and inspire women and girls who dream of pursuing a career in football."


Not only are Newcastle the only team to operate on a professional model in the third tier of women's football, but they also achieve regularly high match attendances.


Their recent victory over Portsmouth in the semi-final of the FA Women's National League Cup saw 22,307 fans cheering on the Magpies at St James' Park. Most WSL teams struggle to achieve attendances as high as this. The impressive attendance figures prove that Newcastle are serious about wanting to be one of the best women's teams in the country, and show that their fans also have the same faith in the club.




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