Newcastle United Women's league campaign curtailed again
Newcastle United Women have seen their FA Women's National League Division One North campaign curtailed for the second year in a row.
However the Vitality Women's FA Cup and Northumberland FA Women's County Cup will continue, which means Becky Langley's side should at least have some more football to look forward to this term.
Last year, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the season was suspended and then ended in March, with all results expunged from the record books. And while the Lady Magpies' current campaign was able to kick off in September, it was suspended once again when the country went into its latest lockdown in December.
Now the FA Women's Football Board - having considered feedback submitted by leagues and clubs - has decided that, subject to approval by the FA Board and/or FA Council as appropriate, the 2020/21 season for tiers 3-6 of the Women's Football Pyramid will be curtailed with immediate effect and declared incomplete, with no further league fixtures taking place this season. There will also be no promotion and relegation between these tiers.
It was felt by the board that extending the league season beyond the end of May 2021 would not be a viable option due to the operational issues faced by many clubs and leagues.
However, teams will be encouraged to provide playing opportunities over the coming months by organising alternative fixtures in some format, where they are able and feel comfortable to do so following the return of grassroots football from 29th March and in line with the appropriate guidelines.
In addition, and in light of feedback from clubs and leagues, the Women's Football Board has also recommended a process of upward club movement, via application and based on set criteria. Further feedback on this will be sought from clubs at tier 3-6 before details of the process are confirmed.
The Women's Football Board will now present their recommendation to The FA Board for ratification on the decision to curtail the season, and to The FA Council on the recommendation for upward club movement via application.
The Lady Magpies haven't played since a Vitality Women's FA Cup win against Barnsley Women three months ago - which in turn was their first competitive match since the first weekend of November. The team played just three times in the league, but have made excellent progress in cup competitions, scoring 26 times in their four matches in the FA Cup and County Cup.
Newcastle United Women are scheduled to travel to Brighouse Town Women in the second round proper of the Vitality Women's FA Cup on Sunday, 4th April (kick-off 2pm BST).
Photograph courtesy of Colin Lock/@Tyneside_NUWFC