Support your local lionesses

London Seaward FC on the start of their new season
By Waltham Forest Echo

Credit: Touch Tight Media
Credit: Touch Tight Media

If the Lionesses’ victory in the Euros got you excited about women’s football, you’ll be pleased to hear Walthamstow has its own player-owned Women’s National League team: London Seaward FC.

Last year, we finished in the top half of the league, beating the likes of Norwich City and Cambridge United, and now we’re gunning for promotion, which should make for some exciting matches at Wadham Lodge, the home we share with local favourites Walthamstow FC.

With our gruellingly warm pre-season done and dusted, which included a training camp at Warwick University, the team is looking strong. A huge amount of talent has been brought into the club, including striker Samantha Lanza, who played in the Venezuelan national team before heading to university in the states.

However, being a high-level independent women’s football team, without the recognisable name of a well-known men’s club to fall back on, is certainly not without its challenges. We frequently find ourselves struggling to access pitches and have faced challenges around our kit.

If Walthamstow had as many 3G pitches as it does night-time police helicopters, we’d never struggle for training options but, as things stand now, affordable bookings are like gold dust in London. Fees can sometimes be as much as £180 per hour and, with around 50 players over two teams, that adds up to £720 a week just for the right to train. That is, of course, if you can even get a pitch at all.

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It can also be hugely difficult to find kits in our colours, designed to fit our bodies, without paying through the nose for custom-made gear because suppliers still don’t have a wide range for women. Last year, we were lucky enough to have Pro:Direct Soccer donate a brilliant Adidas kit and playing in it was a joy. As one of our players said, for the first time it felt like HER shirt, not one borrowed from her brother.

Despite the barriers we face, our season started off strong on 21st August with a 2-1 win against newly promoted Wymondham but the real test is our first home game of the season on 1st September against last year’s title challenger Hashtag United. We’ve launched a new mascot programme this season, inviting local girls down to our home games to meet the players and get excited about a possible future in women’s football.

So if you’re excited about the prospect of watching more women’s football, come watch us play! Our season tickets are only £35 (£20 concession), and you can also pay on the gate. If you can’t come but still want to support women’s football in Walthamstow, you can also sign up to our Patreon.

Find out more on our website.

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