Yeovil Town Ladies Chairman Stephen Allinson spoke to BBC Somerset presenter Jack Murley on Wednesday 15th July 2015, about the BBC's plans to broadcast live commentary of their FA WSL fixture against Millwall Lionesses.
JM: We're incredibly excited about the commentary, but how are you feeling about the big day? I know that on social media and online, you've been chomping at the bit. I imagine that you can't wait.
SA: Yes, we can't wait to get this game underway. We're really grateful to Yeovil Town for allowing us to play there, and we think that it's going to be a great occasion - added to, of course, by the fact that if you can't get there then you can tune into yourselves (BBC Somerset) and listen to the game live. Having said that of course, I want as many people as possible to get there.
JM: That's the thing isn't it? Lots of people listening won't be able to get there. But people who live in the area and have seen the Women's World Cup, have seen something that inspires them. You want to get a big crowd along and you're aiming for a thousand, aren't you?
SA: Yes, that's right. The record FA WSL2 crowd is 1,102 which was set for Watford earlier this season. We're aiming for a thousand but if we can get close to that record, then it would be fantastic. There's a real feel-good factor after the Women's World Cup. We saw last weekend some incredible attendances at Arsenal and at Manchester City where there were 2,000 people, so let's show them that Women's football is alive and kicking in the South-West.
JM: What's the mood like in the squad? I know you, as Chairman, are incredibly ambitious and you want the best team in the West Country. You're hovering in third in the Women's Super League Division 2, and you're just outside the promotion places. How are the squad feeling to come back after the break, and it not only be after the break, but at Huish Park as well?
SA: It was a great buzz when we told them. We told them at training a couple of weeks ago and they were really up for it. I met some of the girls last week as well, and they couldn't wait. Obviously they want to showcase their talents on as big a stage as possible. It's going to be the first competitive game at Huish Park for some time, because the men's team are still on their mid-summer break. So yes, they're really up for it. We're third, and the big two are ahead of us, but anything is possible.
JM: With Millwall Lionesses, let's try to educate a few people who don't know much about Women's football - they're one of the oldest names in Women's football. The former England manager Hope Powell was a product of their youth system, and they've always been there or thereabouts as a team. They went a few games undefeated at the start of this season, and then had a bit of a slump with three losses, coming into this game. But they're not going to be any pushovers are they?
SA: Oh no, no, no! They're a good team. We went there before the break and drew 2-2, and possibly should have edged it. This is a game where we will need to be on top of our game to beat them, and they of course will be coming here thinking 'we're coming to play Yeovil at Huish Park, let's show Yeovil what we're made of'. They're very comfortably mid-table so it's a game that should be exciting for the fans, certainly.
JM: People who have seen the women's football on the television and are not too sure what they're going to get when they pay their money, Yeovil Town Ladies have internationals, they have players who have played in the Women's Champions League and they've got FA Cup winners. Millwall Lionesses have got cup winners and former England youth captains, so this is football of the highest quality coming to Somerset.
SA: Absolutely, and thanks very much for saying that, Jack! This really is about top quality stuff. I think that anyone who hasn't been to see a Yeovil Ladies game will be very impressed at the quality. A number of my friends have said about the Women's World Cup 'wasn't that fantastic?' - obviously we're not going to be like the Women's World Cup Final, but you will find that the skill level and the competitiveness, but also the honesty and the way the game is played will be a great joy. So I really would encourage fans, and I am convinced that you will enjoy it.
JM: I know some people have been asking, do I have to buy the tickets online, or can I buy tickets on the day at Huish Park? What's the situation there?
SA: You can buy online - go onto yeoviltownladies.com - and then you can get an e-ticket which you can then get scanned in. That's great and makes it easier, and saves queuing on the day. But if you want to come on the day, that's fine. We're laying on a lot of stuff beforehand. There's also a carvery if you want to eat your Sunday lunch and then go and watch the game. All details are online. It would be good if we could save the queues and know who is coming but if you just want to make the decision to bring the family down on the day then please do so.
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