Today we hear from Paula Martin – STAR Board Chair
How I wish I could start this with a welcome to our fellow supporters from down the M4, but having missed the first game Reading played at their new ground we also miss attending the return fixture. It seems likely that we will finish the season in absentia unless the government has a major change in attitude as suggesting over 50s will be vaccinated by May takes us to the end of the season – I suspect we will not be allowed a ‘pensioners only’ crowd.
Brentford are currently one of the favourites for automatic promotion and if it is not to be Reading, I would like to see Brentford go up. I feel they are seen in the football world as similar to Reading, a ‘small’ club without a history (which really means a history of winning the top trophies). Though they are younger than Reading, or even Fulham or QPR they were formed well over 100 years ago.
100 years ago the FA banned women’s football (surely not because it was so well supported) and 50 years ago they finally lifted that ban. It has taken a long time for the women’s game to reinstate as a popular game and attendances are still well below those of the men’s game (when we can go of course) but it is interesting that the bigger clubs have finally realised that it is worth running a women’s team alongside the men – though Reading is the only top level club to play both teams at their home ground. Last weekend the Reading game against Manchester United (only recently formed) was at Leigh Sports Village, and I am very pleased to report that it was a win for the Royals inflicting the first defeat there for the home side for over a year.
It is not necessarily fair to compare the Women’s game to the Men’s but I feel it has many advantages as it is played with much less histrionics and can be very entertaining. If you have not watched it you can easily sign into the FAPlayer website and stream all the WSL games and judge for yourself. I certainly hope that when we attend the Madejski Stadium again we can grow the crowds for our Women’s team.