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Ipswich Town Women: Manager Joe Sheehan speaks on side’s first ever league game at Portman Road for Chatham Town fixture





Ipswich Town Women’s manager Joe Sheehan has said his were determined to play at Portman Road this year ahead of their first ever league game at the stadium and spoke on the impact of the occasion.

The club has already sold 7,000 tickets for Saturday’s afternoon fixture against Chatham Town who sit second-bottom out of the 12 teams in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division.

Sheehan’s squad are going through a mixed bag of form and sit fifth after two wins, two losses and a draw in their last five games, but are expected to claim all three points at the weekend.

Maria Boswell and manager Joe Sheehan. Picture: Phil Ham
Maria Boswell and manager Joe Sheehan. Picture: Phil Ham

Speaking on playing at Portman Road, Sheehan said: “I think we’ve always been excited to play here but we’ve really valued [the AGL Arena in] Felixstowe, that’s been our home ground and they’ve treated us remarkably and we’re comfortable there.

“We’ve recognised that with the hectic schedule that the men have, the window of opportunity sometimes isn’t always there, it doesn’t always align.

“But it was something we were really determined to do this year as a football club and fortunately we’ve got a day and an opposition and a weekend where it’s aligned and we can finally make our Portman Road league debut.”

Boss Joe Sheehan said his side have always been excited to play at Portman Road. Picture: Ross Halls
Boss Joe Sheehan said his side have always been excited to play at Portman Road. Picture: Ross Halls

The Town Women have waited a long time to play on the pitch at Portman Road and Sheehan hopes the occasion will have a big impact on the future of young girls who wish to one day play at the ground.

He said: “I think the game’s bigger than the result, for me. Showcasing our level to so many people, being able to be hugely impactful for younger viewers that may not have seen us before.

“They will know the success of the Lionesses, Arsenal have sold out the Emirates and I’m sure many children and young girls will have seen that level of interest and support.

“This is different for us because I think it’s within touching distance for these young girls in our region and I think success for this Saturday will be how many young girls can hopefully go home on Saturday night and look at the sky that night and dream of being another Maria Boswell, as an example, and playing at this stadium one day.

“I think this is really different for us because this is within touching distance, the proximity in which some of our local children live that can potentially come and watch us for the first time will be a unique occasion.

“It’s going to be a really special moment for our players knowing the impact that they can have on so many children. I think that will be absolutely huge for this community over the next five, 10, 15 years.”