Sunderland West End Ladies celebrating promotion after successful season under Wearside legend Gary Bennett

Sunderland Ladies weren't the only team on Wearside celebrating promotion in the Football Association's recent restructure of the pyramid.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 10:00 am

While the Lady Black Cats are now preparing for a campaign in the FA Women's Championship, so too were Sunderland West End handed a well-deserved promotion.

The club, managed by Sunderland legend Gary Bennett, has come close to promotion to the North East Regional Women's Football League in the last two seasons - only for COVID-19 to thwart their hopes.

But West End have now been granted upward movement - an achievement hailed by Bennett.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Gary Bennett
Gary Bennett

"It's a fantastic achievement," he said.

"In the last two or three years they've come a long way and, to be fair, we should have been promoted the year before.

"They were unbeaten and then coronavirus kicked in. It was between us and Alnwick, because they hadn't lost a game, but because they had one or two things in place they got the nod before us and so they went up.

"We had to start all over again this year but they've looked at teams over the last two seasons - like what they've done with Sunderland - on average how well they've done, and they've given us the nod."

Last season was a successful one for West End - who beat higher division sides Bradford City and Hull City in the FA Cup before eventually falling victim to Newcastle United.

And Bennett is hopeful of another good cup run next season, too.

"We even had a good cup run," he explained.

"We've come a long way to reach that. Hopefully we'll be able to do that again."

A message from the Football Clubs Editor:

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Sunderland AFC coverage 365 days a year.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor