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Sunderland cement partnership
 Women's Football News 14 Oct 2010
Sunderland AFC is to extend its support of Sunderland Women's FC by providing transport for the team when they travel to away games.
SAFC already provide playing and training kit for the women's team, as well covering the costs associated with the use of the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground in Hetton, for home fixtures. The club also facilitated use of the Stadium of Light free of charge for the teams FA Cup semi final last year.
Maurice Alderson, chairman of Sunderland Women's FC, said: "We have always enjoyed a special relationship with Sunderland AFC and this bond has been strengthened with the news that the club will help with transport costs by providing a coach for our away fixtures. We have found we have found it increasingly difficult to raise the necessary funding and when you consider that a trip to London costs well in excess of £1,000, it's a huge amount of money to find.
"This generous support from SAFC will have an all round positive effect on team preparation. The timely announcement has seen a huge burden lifted from our shoulders and we can now concentrate on the main job in hand and perform to the highest standard on the field of play."
SAFC chief executive Steve Walton added: "The club is delighted to extend its support of Sunderland Women's FC. They are great ambassadors for our city and they have made tremendous strides on the field in recent years. I'd also like to encourage Sunderland fans to go along and support the women's team when possible."
Maurice continued: "As everyone is aware, the economic downturn has been biting deeply and Sunderland WFC has felt it really hard. We have always tried to be as self reliant as possible but success on the field has been difficult to match off it, as sponsors have proven elusive in the current financial climate.
"Players, coaches and staff give their time voluntarily to the club and we are all proud of the success of the team. Following on from our FA Cup Final appearance, last season we finished fifth in the National Premier League, beating Arsenal, Chelsea and Leeds along the way, all teams who enjoy much more significant commercial advantages than ourselves.
"We are currently within striking distance of top spot once more having lost only once, on the opening day of the season, and we are confident of progress in the League Cup. We take great pride in our city and our club and we will continue to positively represent Sunderland and the North East of England as our reputation in the women's game grows from strength to strength."

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