Salicki eyeing promotion with Durham

Becky Salicki insists it would mean “absolutely everything” for Durham if they were to achieve promotion to the WSL this season.

Speaking on TalkSport 2’s Women’s Football Weekly show the Wildcats’ defender discussed a range of topics including the club’s promotion race with Leicester City.

“It’s something that as a player you always want,” said Salicki. “We want to compete and be at the very top and it would be everything to us [if we could get promoted] but there’s a long way to go.”

Durham were set to welcome league leaders Leicester to Maiden Castle on Sunday before bad weather forced the game to be postponed.

The Wildcats are level on points with the Foxes, trailing by just eight goals, with six games of the Championship season remaining.

“It was very frustrating,” she said of Sunday’s postponement. “It’s something we’ve been looking forward to for a very long time to play against Leicester [again]. We didn’t play as well as we can in the first game against them so it was something we were all looking forward to.”

The Wildcats impressive campaign has been the subject of plenty discussion this season given their lack of affiliation with a men’s team and part time status.

Lee Sander’s side remain the only unbeaten team in the top two tiers of women’s football following Chelsea’s shock defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion recently with Salicki highlighting the team spirit as a key reason for their success.

“I think it’s that never say die attitude. We’re known as quite a physical team and I think sometimes people forget we can play football too.

“We just give it absolutely everything every time we go out onto the pitch and I think our attitude is what helps us grind out results in the end.”

As the women’s game continues to grow with more teams turning professional and with the injection of increased cash there will be a concern as to whether Durham can keep up with their unique relationship with Durham University.

The partnership enables players to earn a degree while playing for the Wildcats and has allowed for a development in the club’s youth set-up as well as being influential in the move to the state of the art £32m facility at Maiden Castle.

“Some of the kids coming through are absolutely amazing,” said Salicki. “You’ve seen some of the girls who have come from the North East that are classed as world class players and it’s good that Durham are one of the teams to promote that.

“We’ve got such a sustainable business model – it’s run very well,” said added. “People look at us like ‘little old Durham,’ but we do very well for what we’ve got. We’re very well looked after and we’ve got fantastic partners who have continued to support us throughout the pandemic.

“We’ve got fantastic fans – we average nearly 400 at home games. The support is there and we do fantastic for it.

“We’re competing with full time teams that have a lot more money than us in certain aspects but we’ve got every faith that if we ever got promoted and got into the top division we’d be able to compete there as well.”

*Salicki was speaking to Faye Carruthers on TalkSport 2’s Women’s Football Weekly show.

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