In less than 12 months, Becky Langley has become the full-time manager of Newcastle United, stood in the famous dugout at St James’ Park and is set to do it all over again.
Langley will be ready to lock horns with Barnsley in what will be a challenging game having required an added-time winner just a few weeks ago to claim all three points.
The Lady Magpies will be looking to entertain and impress what is set to be a record-breaking attendance for the team, which was only set earlier this year.
The manager knows how special of a moment it is to be playing at such a huge and iconic stadium, which is matched by the owner’s ambitions for Langley’s side, as she spoke about.
Lasses set for once-in-a-lifetime St James’ Park clash
“I think when we played there last season it was almost like this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and to get a second opportunity is just amazing.
I think it also shows the club’s ambition and which way they want to go and they want the women’s team to have that presence and visibility, so to play another time at St. James’ is just fantastic.”
While it will indeed be a wonderful occasion for the side and Langley it will be an extremely testing game against one of the best teams in the division, something the lasses will have to be coy on.
Langley is exciting a feisty response from Barnsley after they were denied a valuable point late at Druid Park.
“I think they’re probably fired up for a bit of revenge after our last-minute winner against them in the league, but they’re tough opponents and they’re striving to make sure their women’s team gets to the next level as well.
Tough game expected by Langley
So there’s respect from ourselves with regards to that, but I think we want to win again, we want to make sure that we get through to the next round, and we’ve got that confidence from Katie’s [Barker’s] last-minute winner against Barnsley earlier in the season.”
Progressing through is what’s important and how Langley will be ultimately judged, but for this young group, they may never get this sort of opportunity, especially at this level of the footballing pyramid, as Langley added.
You don’t know if this is your last opportunity to play at St James’ Park and you’ve got to soak up and enjoy every second of it.
‘I just want the players to be proud and have their families watching in the crowd and their friends watching and feel really, really proud to pull on the black and white shirt and play at St. James’ and hopefully score at the Gallowgate End like Georgia [Gibson] did last season.
I think it’s a privilege to be a part of things and we want to keep providing more opportunities and visibility for girls and women’s football.’