England boss makes 'incredible' St James' Park claim and recognises Newcastle United success

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England Women play at St James’ Park for the first time and head coach Sarina Wiegman can’t wait.

Sarina Wiegman says she has heard “incredible” things about St James’ Park ahead of England Women’s first-ever visit tonight (kick-off 8pm).

The Lionesses take on France in a Euro 2025 qualifier in front of a near sold out crowd. Wiegman’s side have visited the North East before having played at the Stadium of Light in September last year. But never have they played at St James’ Park - until now.

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And Wiegman admits she is looking forward to the experience, referencing the success of Newcastle United Women, which has attracted an average crowd of 24,000 to their three competitive matches there against Alnwick Town, Barnsley and Portsmouth.

England Head Coach Sarina Wiegman. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)England Head Coach Sarina Wiegman. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
England Head Coach Sarina Wiegman. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“It’s very nice to be in this area again,” said the England head coach. “We’ve been here twice now after playing in Sunderland and now Newcastle. I’ve never been in that stadium before and I hear all the time that it is an incredible stadium.

“It’s almost sold out so that’s going to be great for the fans to show up and support us again. Of course, I have heard some things about the Women’s team and that a lot of fans showed up when they played in the stadium. That’s just really nice.

“We all hope in every place in England and the world, you want to grow the game and to go to the next level.”

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The Lionesses are first up before Gareth Southgate brings his squad, including Newcastle duo Kieran Trippier and Anthony Gordon, to St James’ Park on Monday night. The Three Lions take on Bosnia & Herzegovina as part of their preparations for their Euro 2024 campaign, which gets underway against Serbia on Sunday, June 16.

“We’re really looking forward to taking the team back to the North East and to a city that is synonymous with football in this country,” said Southgate. “We will follow that with another special occasion at Wembley allowing our fans the opportunity to give us a final send off before we head to Germany for another exciting summer.”

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