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Newcastle United Women's pre-season fixtures get under way on Sunday

Written by Joseph Nelson

Becky Langley hopes her squad can start to build momentum on Sunday, when Newcastle United Women host Middlesbrough Women in their first pre-season match of the 2021/22 campaign.

The Newcastle United Women manager said: "We are eager to kickstart our season on Sunday. The squad have started pre-season training with lots of excitement, and we are extremely ambitious for the season ahead."

The Lady Magpies ended last season with success in the Bluefin Sport Insurance Women's Cup, ending a disrupted season on a high. Langley outlined the importance of regular football, and the hope that this season will not be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Momentum is key for us," said the Newcastle Women manager. "We want to gain traction in the league and unfortunately we weren't afforded the opportunity to continue our league form last season when the season was cut short. Whilst we enjoyed our successful cup run last season, this year our form in the league is key.

"During the break, a couple of players have moved on and there has been a lot of effort put into our recruitment. We feel that the squad that we have is full of outstanding, talented players who will only get better from working with our coaches."

Looking ahead to the new season, Langley outlined her desire for league success, whilst reiterating the need to remain consistent for the duration of the season.

"We have got a young squad and we want to build on the great work that we have done over the last few seasons," she said. "We want to get promoted to tier three, but we will take it one game at a time."

Newcastle United revealed their new home kit, manufactured by Castore, on Saturday, with Newcastle United Women's Brooke Cochrane and Ellen Packham joining the likes of Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almirón for the launch, and Langley shared her squad's enthusiasm for the new partnership.

"The players are all eager to play in the new kit," she said. "It is truly gorgeous and has a bespoke women's fit. We are extremely excited to have Castore on board with the club."

The ingredients certainly appear to be there for the Lady Magpies to have a successful season, and with national Covid-19 restrictions due to be lifted on 19th July, more fans will be able to go and support Newcastle United Women.

This is something which Langley believes could be a catalyst for any potential success this season.

"Roaring fans give us an extra lift," declared the Lady Magpies manager. "The atmosphere at the County Cup final was electric and we hope that our home games can replicate that all season."

The lifting of restrictions will also allow Newcastle United Women to reintroduce their matchday experiences for young teams in the area. 

Langley reiterated the importance of opportunities such as this, as they "are essential for encouraging young people in the area to take part in in women's football."

Kick-off against Middlesbrough Women at Druid Park on Sunday is at 1pm (BST). Gates open at 12.30pm and admission is £3 for adults and £1 concessions, with contactless payment preferred. Masks must be worn. 

"The players are all eager to play in the new kit. It is truly gorgeous and has a bespoke women's fit. We are extremely excited to have Castore on board with the club."

Becky Langley

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