Sunderland boss wants to see new fans for Notts County clash

Steph Bannon
Steph Bannon
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Carlton Fairweather hopes England’s success at the World Cup “will attract some new fans” when Sunderland resume their Women’s Super League 1 programme on Sunday.

His Sunderland Ladies side return to action after a four-week break for the Women’s World Cup in Canada when they play host to Notts County at Hetton.

The players are ready and raring to get started again after the mid-season break.

Not only does the match at Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground pitch together fourth against third in the table but it marks the return to domestic football of three of England’s squad in Canada.

Laura Bassett, who scored the unlucky own goal in the agonising semi-final defeat by Japan before putting in a commanding display in the third/fourth place play-off win over Germany, will skipper Notts County.

England striker Ellen White and keeper Carly Telford, who were also part of Mark Sampson’s squad, will also be in the Notts team.

Head Sunderland coach Fairweather said his are “raring” to go again as they look to build on the success of the first half of the season.

The Lady Black Cats were in the top half of the table at the half-way stage and could go third if they win on Sunday afternoon.

He will also hope they can take full advantage of the increased interest in the women’s game and impress over an anticipated bigger crowd.

“The players are ready and raring to get started again after the mid-season break,” said Fairweather.

“They have been working hard in training and everyone is really looking forward to the game.

“There has been a massive increase in interest in women’s football with the success of the England team at the World Cup. We are hoping this will attract some new fans to Hetton.

“It would be fantastic to see a big crowd for our first game back.”

Sunderland’s mid-season signing, Republic of Ireland striker Stephanie Roche, is set to make her debut while skipper Steph Bannon is fit to return after injury.

Fairweather will hope vice-captain Rachael Laws recovers from a knee injury sustained in training.

Kick-off on Sunday is 2pm and tickets are available online at www.sunderland.fawsl.com/tickets, priced at £4 for adults and £2 from under 21s and over 65s.

Fans can pay on the day, with tickets priced at £5 for adults, £2.50 for under 21s and over 65s.

SAFC season card holders pay just £3 and special family tickets are priced at £6 for an adult and child and £10 for two adults and two children.