Inside Leeds United's home and dressing room ahead of big Leeds United Women date - Cath Hamill

I’m really excited to step onto the Elland Road pitch with my Leeds United Women team-mates when we play Alnwick Town in two weeks’ time.

By Catherine Hamill
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 4:45 am

It’s great that more women’s teams are getting the chance to play in their club’s big stadiums.

Newcastle are going to play at St James’s Park soon, we were at Valley Parade earlier in the season and, last week, we took on Stockport at Edgeley Park.

I really enjoyed the stadium and the set-up they have there, but I was less happy with what happened after the game.

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EXCITEMENT: For Leeds United Women and captain Cath Hamill, above, who will step out at Elland Road in two weeks' time. Picture by Steve Riding.

By the time I had finished my shower, some of the opposition coaches had got to the post-match food before I had the chance and there was none left.

It looked really nice – pie with mash, gravy and peas.

We had lost and I was starving – and when I’m hungry, I get angry. I walked out.

I’m sure they were all staring at me thinking, ‘this girl’s kicking off’, but I couldn’t believe it – I was fuming that the coaches, who hadn’t been running around a pitch for 90 minutes, had jumped in before me.

All I had to get me through the late journey back to Leeds was some tortilla chips.

Five years ago, when we played at Bramall Lane, I was quite happy with our little away changing room with its wooden benches, until I walked past the home one and wondered why theirs was so flashy.

I already know what the Elland Road changing rooms will be like next week as I’ve played there twice before – they’re lovely.

We’ll have a little light above our seat, a shelf for kit and socks, a fridge, a coach’s room to the side and interactive boards for the tactics. It’s nice and spacious.

The pitch is big, too, bigger than you imagine.

I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. You’ve got more space to control the ball and look up but, then, it’s a really long pass you’ve got to make.

It’s quite strange playing on the same pitch where I watch the men play. It feels different when you’re standing on it.

People have already messaged me to say that they’ve got tickets to come and watch, which makes me a bit nervous!

I’m hoping that my three-year-old niece will be in the crowd. She’s not shown much of an interest in football yet.

I took her to watch my brother play once and she was standing at the railing shouting ‘come on’ and telling him to ‘kick it’.

She said ‘I want to play football like daddy’ but I wonder if she actually meant it because, moments later, she was just throwing stones around. Who knows?

Maybe she’ll get involved later on – I didn’t start playing until I was nine.

It’ll be a tough game against Alnwick.

We only beat them 1-0 at their place and they’ve strengthened since Christmas.

We’ll want to prove ourselves at Elland Road after Town knocked us out of the FA Women’s National League Plate with a 2-0 victory in January.

We never underestimate teams, but maybe we did subconsciously that day as we didn’t turn up on the pitch.

I’m looking forward to going out there and showing that we can beat them.

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