Her Game Too might be a relatively new force in British football but women have been involved in the beautiful game since way before Accrington Stanley players didn't drink their milk in the famous TV advert. And this weekend it's all about Women, Stanley, Women at The Valley.
There was a time not so long ago when Charlton supped fine wine with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United and not just in Cup games. But in these more sobering days we are seeing a lot more of their neighbours Accrington Stanley. And if there's any name that's synonymous with the North it's definitely Stanley, whether the Coronation Street version or the club whose name "sends tingles down the spine of every true football fan."
A couple of years back the Supporters Trust invited Andy Holt to The White Swan on an afternoon of great chat and great food, including 'Roland Out' pie. Andy Holt is the owner who rescued Accrington from financial meltdown less than a decade ago and brought them stability, punching above their financial weight under the management of John Coleman. What he has done for Stanley could be seen as a League One equivalent of what Alan Curbishley did for Charlton. Though not setting the League alight, Stanley are a long way from where they were just a few decades ago and a fine example of what can be achieved at a football club when the right managerial and ownership foundations are in place.
This season though, they have been struggling at the wrong end of the table and will be looking to pick up some vital points from Saturday's trip, especially as relegation rivals such as Burton have struck the form button since Christmas. Dean Holden though is likely to be conscious of what a Stanley win would do, lifting them to within four points of The Addicks. Added to that, John Coleman's side have played two games less. If we lose on Saturday and one or more of the bottom six win, we'd be right back in the relegation mix which has been slightly forgotten amidst the ongoing twists and turns of our various ownership soap operas. We're not out of the woods yet on the pitch or off it, sadly.
But let's put that aside for a moment and think of one positive at the present time. The club's themed match-days , in partnership with The University of Greenwich, are a welcome addition to the playing calendar and this weekend it's the turn of HerGameToo to take centre stage.
In its own words 'HerGameToo is a voluntary organisation ran by female football fans; who are committed to growing the campaign with the aim of fostering an ethos in football in which women are welcomed and respected equally.' The Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust fully support these values and are proud that one of our members, Tash Everitt, is the club’s ambassador for HerGameToo, which is now an official partner of the club.
It would be great to see a big turnout for the HG2 theme game on Saturday, especially amongst families and female fans. Come early and get pictures taken with the Charlton HerGameToo team. Football is a game for everyone and even if the season has been a struggle, the fight for equality is always one that's worth supporting.