Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

WSL first all-female ground staff work on north London derby

Sunday afternoon’s north London derby was significant for a multitude of reasons. On the pitch, Arsenal beat bitter rivals Tottenham 1-0 to claim for revenge for the reverse fixture in December when Spurs claimed their first Women’s Super League (WSL) win over the Gunners.

In the stands, the Emirates was sold-out for the second successive women’s game – after 60,160 people watched Arsenal beat Manchester United 3-1 on 17 February – the first time that the Gunners have had back-to-back full houses.

But those were not the only reasons why the occasion was significant…

Icon FIL ARSENAL WOMEN MAN UTD WOMEN 056 2
Beth Mead of Arsenal Women applauds the crowd after coming off during a Barclays Women's Super League match at the Emirates Stadium. Photo by Icon Sport

WSL’s first all-female grounds staff

Sunday also saw the WSL’s first ever all-female grounds staff. Organised by Women in Football alongside the Grounds Management Association, the occasion saw 13 women come from different sporting and educational facilities to ensure the turf was in perfect condition for the match.

In a profession that – like so many others in football – is dominated by men, the initiative is designed to “shine a spotlight on the vital contribution of women to sport, alongside encouraging more to consider roles in grounds management,” according to Arsenal.

Only two per cent of the grounds management sector in the UK is female. Grounds Management Association Geoff Webb said: “Research shows that women make up a small percentage of the number of grounds staff we have working in the sector and so, if we want to provide more pitches to keep up with the increased demand for grass playing surfaces, we need more women to enter the sector.”

“We’re delighted to see some exceptional examples of women working in the sector celebrated at such an important fixture in the Barclays WSL calendar.”

Reaction from the WSL stars

Arsenal star striker Alessia Russo, who bagged the only goal of the game, reacted to the all-female grounds staff news when speaking to talkSPORT.

“That’s so cool and paving the way and I think it’s so special we have these kind of people in and around the club,” she said.

“Whenever their job is called upon, people are stepping up and it’s incredible, and the fans as well. The whole day in general when you’re at the Emirates feels really nice.”

“It’s so incredible and I really think that we are setting the bar for women’s football,” she concluded.