Football Fan, Blog Writer, Couch Potato

Age: 27

Nationality: Indian

Namrata

Why I am following Women's Football?

About me

Sports has been a big part of my life growing up. As every other Indian kid, I was a cricket fan from as far back as I can remember, sitting in front of the TV with my Dad, cheering on the Indian cricket team, playing cricket in the park. It was back in 2004, my dad was watching cricket highlights and he switched to a channel showing Euro 2004- England vs Switzerland. A 17 year old Wayne Rooney scored 2 goals and I was mesmerised with the sport. I watched the whole tournament and then decided to follow football when Rooney signed for Manchester United that summer. And thus started the longest love story in my life. I’ve been a Manchester United fan since and have been blessed with the best childhood I could hope for, thanks to Sir Alex Ferguson. When I heard that Man United is forming a women’s team, I was overjoyed and have been following the team since 2019. Casey Stoney is now my gaffer as an adult like Sir Alex was when I was a child. My favourite players currently are Leah Galton, Jackie Groenen and Millie Turner for Man United. Apart from the Man United players, I love the Netherlands women’s team (Miedema, van De Donk) and the USWNT. I’ve played most sports in school and college but after watching my team do so well, finally at 27 years old, I went out to play a game of football. And that’s what I wish to see, any kid growing up watching their favourite sport should get to idolise players that motivate them to go out and play the game that they love.

Why women's football

Following women’s football is hard. Men’s football is easily accessible, no matter who you follow, you’ll find someone you know who follows the same team as you. For months, I scoured the internet to find more information and content about women’s football. It was scarce and I had nobody to talk to after a game. That’s when I discovered woso Twitter and the Barmy Army. I followed a few of the members and would read up all the tweets after a match, it felt like a discussion you would have with your friends while having beer and masala peanuts- tactical analysis, player critiques, transfer talk on one hand, and annoying the hell out of every other club supporters on the other. There have been actual discussions on whether it’s fair to wind up opposition players because the women can’t handle it. Tell that to the bloody loser who after I got fouled for “travelling” in a basketball match, shouted, “if you love travelling so much, I have the backseat on my bike waiting”. It’s brilliant and even though it’s frustrating to have so little content, its much better having meaningful conversations with fans of the women’s game than the “Dub” culture on the men’s tweets. It’s been pretty great following women’s football so far and hopefully years into the future when I see kids with wearing Man United Women’s jerseys on the streets, I’ll tell them that I’ve been supporting them since Day 1. (Well year 2, but they wouldn’t know the difference)