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Katie keen to inspire next generation


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Katie James will be hoping to make more memories when AFC Bournemouth women return to Vitality Stadium on Sunday.

Midfielder James could be in line to start when the Cherries host National League counterparts Keynsham Town in front of another bumper crowd (2pm kick-off).

The Poole-born 28-year-old has made three appearances at Vitality Stadium and scored in their first competitive game at the venue against Chesham United in 2022.

She sat down with afcb.co.uk to discuss the four previous women’s games at the stadium, the matchday experience for a player, what it must be like for an opposition player and helping to inspire stars of the future.

AFC BOURNEMOUTH 4-1 CHESHAM (1,592) – 10th April 2022

Katie says: "It was the first competitive women’s game at the stadium so it was a big occasion for everybody.

It was my first season as a player at AFC Bournemouth and it is a stadium that I always visited as a kid so getting to play here was really exciting for me.

We were dominant on the day and created a lot of chances. Becki Bath scored a hat-trick and I managed to get on the scoresheet as well.

That is probably my fondest memory of playing at the stadium and getting to celebrate in front of the fans.

Building on that now into this season, there has been a massive growth in the attendances we are getting at the stadium."


Katie says: "I didn’t play because I was away for beach soccer on that occasion and a few of the players were missing.

From what I heard, the girls did really well to keep it to a 0-0 draw with what was a very young squad."


Katie says: "Again, it was probably another dominant performance and it could have been more than 4-0 on the day.

That’s the biggest crowd I’ve ever played in front of and I think it is probably the biggest a lot of the girls have played in front of.

Getting more than 6,800 to Vitality Stadium was fantastic and it was a good day out as well with all the entertainment, signing autographs for the kids afterwards and everything that went on.

It’s something that everyone in the squad loves to be a part of and even the girls that didn’t make the squad did the warm-up and were involved.

Just having that experience at the stadium in front of that many fans is something that’s only going to make us stronger going forward in high-pressure situations."


Katie says: "We drew Charlton in the FA Cup and it was moved to the stadium because they anticipated a big crowd.

Charlton are two leagues above us so keeping it to 0-0 until half-time was testament to the group and the coaching staff behind the scenes.

Some of us maybe prematurely celebrated at half-time thinking ‘we’re on to something here and have done a good job’.

Charlton showed their quality in the second half. They made a few tactical tweaks, which was again testament to us because we had obviously frustrated them in the first half.

They came out and were another level in that second half and although we battled well, they were deserved winners."


Katie says: "Even just turning up to the ground, it’s a bit different. Walking into the stadium is a lot different to arriving at Ringwood Town where we usually play.

Your shirt is hanging up where the male players sit for a Premier League game and they hang our pictures on the wall in the tunnel.

It’s something you never take for granted because it shows how fortunate we are to be in a position to play in a Premier League ground with Premier League facilities. You sit in the changing room and everyone is buzzing.

Scads (Katie Scadding) is normally on the music, which is questionable at times, but seems to get everyone pumped.

For the Portishead game, I remember coming out of the tunnel with the mascots and they were playing Salute by Little Mix.

Even on the way to a game at Ringwood, I put on that song because it gives me really good memories of being here and gets me pumped. I’m not a huge fan of Little Mix but it’s definitely a song that brings good memories."


Katie says: "For any team coming here, it’s their cup final, as it is ours. We haven’t had a top-of-the-table clash here but every game here is huge.

We want to put on a good performance for everyone that comes to watch and we want them to come back.

The opposition will want to do the same and will want to try to put their stamp on the game. They will want to show 6,000 fans how good they are as footballers so it’s great for both teams.

As we get to play here more and more, I think we’re going to get challenged more and more on the pitch."


Katie says: "When I used to watch men’s games as a kid, I would love to have been able to speak to the players and have my picture taken with them.

We want to do that for the kids coming to watch us. We’re not going to be around forever and are trying to do our bit to help the club build for the future.

Hopefully, all these young children are going to be the future of AFC Bournemouth and it’s so important that we inspire them to keep playing.

One day, hopefully, they will be walking out of that tunnel and on to the pitch and I can come back and watch them."

To book tickets and select seats for the Keynsham game, click here.

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