A girls’ football team in Badshot Lea is looking to build on the Lionesses’ inspiring victory at the women’s Euros by establishing the area’s first girls’ football league.
David Gill, chair of Farnham Sports Council, indicated his pride at the “sensational” Euros tournament, expressing the result of the competition was just the “icing on the cake”.
He now hopes many local youngsters “will be inspired” by the Lionesses’ display and “go for it”.
However, Nicky Staskiewicz, club secretary at Badshot Lea FC, argues there are real problems in this area holding back girls’ football, and primarily the lack of a truly local league.
The closest leagues available for girls’ teams to compete in are based on the outskirts of London, she said, requiring long journeys.
Ms Staskiewicz said Badshot Lea FC does currently have a small girls’ section – but thinks joining together with other local teams to establish a local league is the next step.
This was reinforced by Badshot Lea FC youth chairman and development coach Trevor Norris.
He said many local clubs have launched girls’ sections in recent years and there may now be enough local teams to play matches together in a competitive league.
However, Mr Norris also expressed concern that many girls who do choose to take part in local football sessions are currently training with more than one club.
He said this causes problems when attempting to create stability in teams, making the reality of a local league much harder to realise.
The final hurdle, expressed by both Ms Staskiewicz and Mr Norris, is the lack of available playing facilities.
Ms Staskiewicz said this results in teams having to compete for the same facilities, while Mr Norris added teams are often forced to use hockey pitches for their training sessions, which “aren’t suitable for older teams to train on”.
He said if more girls teams, or a league, are to be established, more grass and artificial pitches are needed to bring through “the next generation of players”.
Badshot Lea FC hopes to attract more girls into its set-up on its return to playing in September – both younger players through its ‘little strikers’ Saturday morning club for four to six year olds, and older players too.