Sunderland Ladies move Women's Super League fixtures to South Shields

Sunderland Ladies and South Shields on their new link-up
Sunderland Ladies will share grounds with South Shields from the 2017-18 season onwards

Sunderland Ladies will play at South Shields' Mariners Park for the 2017-18 Women's Super League season.

The switch from a summer season to winter meant matches would have clashed with other age groups at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground.

Melanie Reay's side will also leave the Academy of Light - Sunderland's men's base - to train at Northumbria University in Newcastle.

"Mariners Park is a great venue," general manager Sonia Kulkarni said.

"We are very much looking forward to our new season at South Shields.

"Our fans have given us such tremendous support over the last few seasons and the move to Mariners Park will open up a whole new audience to women's football, which is a huge positive for us."

Sunderland Ladies' first home game of the Super League 1 season at their new ground - which can hold 3,500 people - will be against Chelsea Ladies on Saturday, 30 September.

A club statement said: "The moving of the WSL to a winter league has highlighted some scheduling conflicts with other fixtures at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground and Mariners Park has provided a great solution for the club.

"Sunderland Ladies will also be linking up with Northumbria University for the new season, who operate one of eight designated FA Women's High Performance Football Centres."

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