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Matt Hobbs: Pack out Molineux for Wolves Women

Sporting director Matt Hobbs has called for fans to pack out Molineux as Wolves Women return to play at the stadium this weekend.

Wolves Women at Molineux (Getty)
Wolves Women at Molineux (Getty)

Dan McNamara’s side face Huddersfield on Sunday and will make their first Molineux outing of the season, after more than 2,000 fans watched them lift the Northern Premier Division trophy at the stadium last season.

Hobbs has often been seen watching the women's team this campaign and is excited to see how quickly they are progressing

“They’ve very quickly become a very important part of the football club and there’s a lot of ambition to move the women’s team forward, so opportunities for them to play at Molineux are very important so they feel that we hold them in the same regard as the men’s team," he said.

"It’s really exciting to give them this opportunity and really exciting to give fans who may not watch them too regularly the opportunity to see them play. It’s a Sunday afternoon and a chance to watch a Wolves team play at Molineux.

“It’s important for a few reasons. It’s important for the women and girls section of the football club, which is growing all the time, and the more support that all the fans can give, the better.

"We as a football club want to see it moving forward and one of the obvious ways to do that is by holding these games at Molineux and encouraging people to come and watch, especially if they haven’t been to a game before. I’ve been to a few games this season and it never ceases to amaze me the support the team gets and hopefully we can continue to grow that.

“I have a five-year-old daughter and having been to games and seen how quickly these girls have not just become role models but inspirations for lots of young girls, it’s given me even more drive to develop it further and really help it push on.

"It’s not always easy, but when you go to games and see the number of young girls watching, idolising the players on the pitch, just like kids do at men’s games, and seeing how much my own daughter loves going and being a part of it, you know how important it is that we keep driving it forward.”

Despite winning their league last season, Wolves lost to Southampton in the play-off game to earn promotion to the Championship.

This year they are once again battling for the title and a shot at promotion – and a win on Sunday could move them closer to realising that.

Hobbs added: “It shows the strength of the group and the support they were given from the whole football club. You can’t dwell on those things (missing out last year), and they came back and quickly got their heads together and came up with a new plan for this season.

"They entered into it knowing it’s tough to go up, but the way they’re performing, and the consistency of their performances over the last few years, show they’re going in the right direction.

“We’ve got to keep winning our games, so if the teams above us slip up, we’re able to take advantage. It’s really important that as many fans come out as possible, not just for this game but continually for all the games, because the one thing I can promise them is they will really enjoy it. There’s a great atmosphere that these young girls create in the stands, so I encourage as many people as possible to come out and watch, especially those who’ve never watched a women’s game before.”

They currently play at AFC Telford United's New Bucks Head, but would need to adjust their set-up to meet the regulations if they earned promotion – and Hobbs says the club are already making moves to keep developing and integrating the side.

He said: “They’re without a doubt becoming more integrated. After the game at the Hawthorns, they were using the first-team facilities at Compton – the cryochamber, cold and hot baths, and Julen (Lopetegui) was fully supportive with them coming in to use the facilities on the Friday night, after they’d played on the Thursday. It’s not just me, it’s coming from Jeff (Shi), Julen and the staff – everyone wants them to feel part of it and wants to help them kick on, keep developing and keep inspiring.

“We’ve applied to go up (groundwork should promotion be achieved). Our team are heading to London to pitch that, should we be in the position to do it. It’s quite tough to go up, we’re in a league where lots of teams are more heavily funded than we are, so what ‘Macca’ has been able to do with the team has been incredible. If we don’t manage to go up this season, it’s about entering the new one giving them what they need to achieve the goal which is promotion.

“I went to the game against West Ham which was interesting, watching us against a WSL team. Like in the men’s FA Cup, you see higher and lower league teams playing each other, and I came away thinking we weren’t a million miles away, if we can attract sponsors, which are really important. That way we can put money into it because there’s a massive disparity to what West Ham are putting in, but these things don’t happen overnight, it’s a gradual process.

"Hopefully by more people coming, there’s more interest, and sponsors will want to get involved more. The games themselves have been really good and obviously beating West Brom twice is always important for a Wolves team.”

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