Man Utd Women at Old Trafford in March 2022.

Bancroft: Let's not miss this opportunity

Tuesday 15 November 2022 14:45

Manchester United Women’s game against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on 3 December is a great chance for new supporters to get involved with the team.

That’s the view of the club’s head of women’s football, Polly Bancroft, who wants to see the Theatre of Dreams attendance top the 20,241 Marc Skinner’s side managed during March’s 3-1 win over Everton.

She also believes it’s important that fans continue to support the Reds throughout the season and the signs have been encouraging in recent weeks.

Over 6,000 people watched United in our latest outing – the 3-1 defeat to Chelsea at the start of November – which was itself a Leigh Sports Village record for a WSL home game, plus a sign of the growing interest in the sport in this country, following England's Euro 2022 success this summer.

Polly Bancroft's first United interview Video

Polly Bancroft's first United interview

Polly Bancroft talks about working with Marc Skinner, Champions League hopes, our upcoming Old Trafford outing and more…

“Yeah, it's a fantastic opportunity and I think we're working really strategically to make sure that it's not a missed opportunity,” said Bancroft of the match, which takes place at a time when the men’s team are on hiatus for the World Cup in Qatar.

“We're expecting a bumper crowd there, so we really want to make sure that they're enthused by their experience, and that they stay in the women's game.

“Ideally, they'd come in and watch other matches at Leigh Sports Village or that they're engaged either through social media or they're watching more matches, so we see it as a fantastic opportunity.

“But let's just hope that we can kick on from that game with three points in the bag and you know, an increased attendance and fan base afterwards.”

Alessia Russo’s double and Katie Zelem’s penalty in our last Old Trafford appearance will live long in the memory of the players and those who were present, as United recovered from an early setback to convincingly see off the Toffees.

While Bancroft realises the potential impact such moments can have, she is also keen to point out that other important games are on the horizon, such as Saturday’s crunch top-of-the-table clash at Arsenal.

“We make memories on landmark occasions like that. So we own that,” she added.

“We can create our own history and our own memories from matches and occasions like that, but our season isn't defined by just one match at Old Trafford.

“So there's obviously an awful lot that goes into the programme, from the start of the season right through to the end, but let's use it as a catalyst to continue growing the game.”

Tickets for United Women’s clash with Aston Villa are available to buy now.