Blues chief 'determined' for Portsmouth Women to be handed more Fratton Park opportunities

Andy Cullen is ‘determined’ to ensure Pompey Women are back in action at Fratton Park this season.

Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 4:55 am

Jay Sadler’s side last week attracted almost 3,000 for their 3-2 success over Brighton in a pre-season friendly.

The impressive attendance reflected flourishing interest in the women’s game at present, culminating in England Lioness’ becoming Euro 2022 champions.

The John Jenkins Stadium is scheduled to become the new home of Pompey Women around October as they move from Westleigh Park.

Regardless, the Blues’ chief executive is eager for Fratton Park to also host Sadler’s team in their forthcoming National League campaign.

Cullen told The News: ‘We would very much like to look at the opportunities for Pompey Women to play again at Fratton Park.

‘We have to make sure we juggle the condition of the pitch for first-team football. So we’re working very closely with Neil Stephenson, our head groundsman, to make sure we can accommodate them on a few more occasions during the season.

‘Brighton was a wonderful atmosphere and a wonderful advertisement for women’s football – and right in the midst of the closing stages of the Euros.

Pompey Women hosted Southampton Women at Fratton Park in a league encounter in December 2021

‘We had a very, very different demographic inside Fratton Park that night, but that was also reflected at Wembley last Sunday, where you could see a different dynamic in the crowd as well.

‘At the end of the day you are introducing new faces into Fratton Park and into football. Hopefully they will go away and it will have a knock-on effect, not just for women’s football but for the men’s as well.

‘We are determined to play our part in making sure there is a legacy from the Euros, working with Pompey women to make sure they get the opportunity to play here on a few more occasions during the season.’

Pompey Women’s season kicks off on August 21 at Ipswich.

They then host MK Dons at Westleigh Park (August 28) in a season which will see them move home grounds this side of Christmas.

Cullen added: ‘In the autumn they will have a new venue in which to play their games, a new place to call home.

‘For some of the bigger games where they feel they can attract a really decent crowd then we'll have that conversation about bringing those to Fratton Park.

‘They can nominate a couple of venues, so it is possible.’

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