Yeovil Town Ladies Chairman Stephen Allinson spoke to BBC Somerset presenter Emma Britton on Thursday 19th March 2015, as part of the build-up to their 2015 FA WSL2 season opener against Reading FC Women. Emma starts off by talking about her recent training session with the Ladies team, which was run as a feature earlier in the programme.
EB: (Referring to Emma's evening of training with Yeovil Town Ladies as part of the BBC's 'Emma Tries' feature broadcast on Thursday) You don't need to get out your fancy fountain pen to sign me Steve - I think I'll stay in the reporter seats!
SA: I did have a word with the manager, but I'm afraid it was a 'no' from him, Emma! Although we reckon you'll fit nicely into the Leeds United team!
EB: (As a Leeds United supporter) Oh come on! You can't have a dig at me like that! Now come on, this is a good positive day - are you excited about this evening?
SA: It's fantastic - I'm really excited, and thanks for the stuff that you're doing, which really helps. Yes, we're really buzzing. A couple of teams got underway yesterday, so we know there's already been two games. We start today against a team who I think are probably the league favourites. It's not often that you have an England world cup squad player coming to Yeovil in Fran Kirby and she'll be playing against us.
EB: I know you're very passionate about promoting the Ladies game - as a club you seem to be very switched on, very good at promoting yourself and very good at encouraging everyone to come and support a family club atmosphere. Is what goes on around the fringes of the football pitch as important as what goes on the football pitch?
SA: We certainly believe so. Obviously a number of us can't influence what happens on the pitch. That's down to the players and the manager, who we have faith in. But off the pitch we can influence it, and that's why it's so important. What I really love about the Women's game is the way that it is not only taking off but also developing this family togetherness and honesty and this real buzz around it. It's an entertainment business and that's what we want to be in. You're right that we believe passionately about that, and that's been recognised nicely up and down the country.
EB: You recently stepped down as a director at Yeovil Town (men's) Football Club. Do you have any regrets with the current situation with the men's team?
SA: Yes, it's really sad. I obviously didn't time that very well, did I, in that sense!
EB: It does look a little bit like a rat and a sinking ship, if you don't mind me saying!
SA: Well if that's the accusation that's been made against me then honestly that's not the case. It was because of the extra responsibilities here. Yes, it's very sad - I'm a fan and I've been a fan for many years, and I continue to be one of the men's team. We will get back - we've just got to regroup. These things go in cycles and you've got to remember what incredible success that we have had. I'll still be cheering them next year.
EB: So Steve, if there's anyone who is listening who fancies getting into watching the Ladies team and supporting them during their Women's Super League 2 season, what's your message to them?
SA: Come down and give us a try! Honestly, for the sake of four pounds for adults and two-pounds-fifty for a child, come down and give us a try. A lot of the games are on weekends on Sundays, so what better way to spend your Sunday afternoon. We'll have entertainment and food as well as the football. So come and have a family time, and honestly you will be hooked.
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