By Amanda Lansbury, Vice Chair MKDSA
Amanda spoke to Port Vale Her Game Too Ambassador Sophie Barber about Saturday’s game.
Please could you tell our supporters all about yourself and how you became so involved with Port Vale FC?
My name is Sophie and I’ve been a Port Vale fan since I was little. My Dad first took me to Vale Park in 1994 and I’ve been a fan ever since. Currently and over the years I have been a season ticket holder at Port Vale and go to most away fixtures, including Stadium MK earlier in the season.
I started to get involved more with Port Vale after I was approached by the Supporters Club asking me to become an Ambassador for them and HerGameToo last March. I’ve been liaising with the club on behalf of HerGameToo since and it’s been a busy but positive year! The Club have just launched HerGameToo x PVFC merchandise in the shop with funds going towards the Women and Girl’s teams ahead of this weekend’s dedicated fixture, both of which have received positive feedback and interaction, so it feels like we’re going in an encouraging direction which only adds to the pride I have in being part of the campaign and Port Vale FC.
As a female supporter have you witnessed an increase in female support at your club since women’s football has become more popular?
I think Vale Park has always been a welcoming and inclusive place to be to be honest, which can be seen more recently from the top down. And with this our female fanbase, whilst always being quite strong in my opinion, has continued to grow. I have definitely noticed an increase in support for the Women and Girls’ Team over the last year or so which is brilliant, and I think that can be accredited to the success of the Lionesses in recent years and the coverage in which that had, further encouraging support and participation in the Women’s game.
How surprised are you with MK Don’s current league position considering we was one point of the championship last season?
I’ve been a Port Vale fan for 28 years, very little in football surprises me anymore! But anything can happen unfortunately, there’s so many unpredictable factors that can affect the success on the pitch and it’s just the way it goes sometimes.
Which four teams will go down in your opinion this season?
I don’t want to jinx anyone here! But I’d say FGR, Cambridge, Accrington + Morecambe.
Which three teams will get promoted in your opinion?
Plymouth, Sheffield Wednesday, and Derby.
How do you think your team will approach the game on Saturday? ie formation/style.
Your guess is as good as mine! We’ve chopped and changed a lot this season, every team announcement and formation are a surprise.
Which Stadium this season have you enjoyed visiting the most?
Home Park- Plymouth. Our game got rearranged to a Friday night due to the World Cup but despite this we still travelled well, and the atmosphere was brilliant. We won as well, ending an unbeaten run for Argyle, so a good trip all round!
Since you was promoted from league two last season how do you feel your first season back in league one has gone so far?
As expected to be honest, theres some big teams in this league and it was always going to be a tricky start back in League One. I’m happy to finish mid-table or at least staying up!
What has been your overall highlight since you started supporting the club?
I always think it’s hard to pick an overall highlight. I’ve been lucky enough to visit the old and new Wembley watching the Vale over the years, as well as what was known as the Millennium Stadium for the LDV final in 2001 (which we won!). I’ve made many friends along the way, introduced friends who aren’t Vale fans (some who aren’t even football fans) to Vale Park and made lots of memories with them and my family over the years. It’s certainly been a rollercoaster though, as I’m sure any football fan would understand!
Which players do you feel could cause MK Dons some problems on Saturday?
Depends who’s fit and who’s on the team sheet this week to be honest! But either way, I can’t be giving our secrets away, Darrell Clarke wouldn’t be impressed!
Lastly, what is your score prediction for this Saturday’s game?
2-1 Port Vale, Up The Vale!