Women's Football Atmosphere Is Completely Different

29/10/2013 12:49 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 23:58 GMT

Many people attend a club football game to see their club win and to share the experience with fellow supporters.

Atmosphere in a club game is normally loud, passionate and reacts to every single run, tackle, shot and referees decision.

On TV, the male international games show nearly sold out seats with a large group of people with disposable income to attend such events. The amount of people there, naturally alters the atmosphere, but so does the demographic of people there - they have to care and understand football to make it good.

And that's the thing the Women's football game seemed to lack last night. I was sitting in The Den, Millwall's football stadium, to watch the Women's World Cup qualifier between England and Wales - where the game finished at 2-0.

It wasn't the biggest life or death game, or the biggest footballing rivalry, but the lack of understanding really confused me.

I've not been to many games in person, but the ones I have been to I have had people all around me shouting 'that was a penalty' and singing songs about certain players and so on. But of course, that's the thing, you can pick up on those from watching the Male matches from your sofa - but it is almost impossible to do that with Women's matches.

Then again most of the supporters in the crowd didn't exactly seem to understand the rules or practicalities of football.

A person behind me said "Isn't it time for that thing now, what is it called, half time or something?" while some children close by were shouting shoot when the ball was at a 90 degree angle to the goal.

And that's the thing. Women's football is so cheap (an adult ticket was £5) that it's one of the few chances where, at present, not enough supporters turn up and parents feel they can take their child to a stadium because the atmosphere will be 'friendly'.

There's nothing wrong with having stack fulls of children watching the game. In fact, it's great because it means they can be inspired and gain role models. I heard one child, that looked younger than 10 say to another next to her "we really could learn some things from the way they are playing". It's true, last nights game could easily have inspired a young child to go on and follow their footsteps.

But many were breaking the football ground rules, such as standing right up against the concrete wall. They were at an age where they don't really know why 'no standing' is in place. By the time many of them did, they weren't actually watching the game anymore, they seemed to be talking amongst themselves just blocking peoples view instead.

That's where the complexity of getting a good atmosphere comes in. To inspire children and get more young people interested in football, you need to have a friendly and less threatening atmosphere than a championship or premiership game can present. But you also need to present it with an exciting and informative enough chance for adults that support the Male England team (either because they are patriotic or because it features their favourite male footballer) to want to go along and do the same at the Women's matches.

The only way the Women's game can be 'as good as the male game' is to treat it with the same respect rather than as a completely different sport. Of course the way the women play strategically is different, but it's still football!

Clubs should really look at encouraging their fans to check out their women's team and at least cheering them on through social media if not in person. I know several people that class themselves as dedicated and supporters for life of a particular football club yet when I say the name of a female footballer that plays in the women team and for their international team, they look at me blanked faced saying 'who, what are you on about, why would I care?' and that saddens me.

Women's football games being shown on TV are a huge step in the direction, but we really need to either educate the people that attend the game to understand the basics of football or we need to encourage otherwise dedicated football fans to turn up once in a blue moon and show a bit of fiery passion.