Kate Mallin is a role model at Huddersfield Town Women FC and she’s looking forward to inspiring more girls to take up football.
Kate, 32, is the longest-serving player at Huddersfield Town Women FC having joined the club aged 10.
On Sunday Kate will proudly take to the field at the John Smith’s Stadium as the Terriers face Super League side Everton in the fourth round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.
It’s only the second time the women’s team has played at the stadium and club officials are hoping for a record attendance.
“It will be a great occasion for the club and a chance to inspire the next generation,” said Kate.
“For us as players it will be great to play against a Super League side and test ourselves. We know we are huge underdogs but that isn’t going to stop us from trying our best to beat them.”
Kate, whose dad David was chairman at the club for 12 years, has played approaching 500 matches for Town, scoring 200 goals over a 17-year career. Her contribution to the club saw her become the first woman to be inducted into the Huddersfield Town Supporters’ Association Hall of Fame.
The Huddersfield club tennis coach joined the club – then called Huddersfield Town Ladies – aged 10. She has played most positions but for the last few years has largely operated as a wide midfielder.
On her career Kate said: “It’s been fantastic to play for the club for so long. Lots has changed since I first joined the club. We now have so many teams, it’s brilliant to see. The first team has risen through the leagues and got better as time has gone on.”
Kate made her first team debut in October 2004 at the age of 15 and netted her first goal just a couple of months later against Hull City.
“Not many players, both in the men’s and women’s game, stay at a club for so long,” she said.
“I had the opportunity to move on a couple of times and to bigger clubs too, but I didn’t, and I am glad because I have made some great memories at Town.”
Town manager Glen Preston is also excited for what Sunday’s game will mean for the club and wider interest in women’s football.
He said the team will represent the club with “pride and passion” and added: “It’s about doing right by the club, its fanbase, and the wider community of Huddersfield.
“The men’s team have given us a fantastic opportunity to play at the John Smith’s Stadium and we need to embrace this and use it as a platform to help grow the football club as best we can and show what we stand for.
“For us as a club, our fans will always be at the centre of everything we do, they are the most important people, they are who we represent every week and so for us to be involved in such a special occasion where we get to play at the John Smith’s Stadium against a team of world class internationals and have a strong fanbase behind us is huge!”
Town want to beat their previous best attendance of 1,115 and the Core Stand will be open.
Preston added: “I hope as many Town fans as possible get behind us, be our twelfth player, and make as much noise as they can.
“In return we will do all we can to represent them with pride and show the kind of fight and determination that are synonymous with the club.
“At the end of the day, it’s the FA Cup! Anything can happen, but my biggest hopes are that we can represent the club well, narrow the gap between ourselves and the Women’s Super League side and hopefully gain a few new fans along the way.”
You can pay on the day at the turnstiles. It’s £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and all accompanying under 16s go in free. The game kicks off at 1pm.