More girls needed for Dunmow Rhodes Youth Football Club

Dunmow Girls Football

Dunmow Girls Football - Credit: Archant

A football team is calling for more girls to join a new all-girls squad.

Dunmow Rhodes Youth Football Club already holds free mini-striker sessions for girls and boys on Saturday mornings at the town’s recreation ground.

Now the club is inviting girls from four years upward to train with Sarah Smith, a qualified football coach.

The scheme coincides with the Football Association’s current campaign: Girls Can Play.

Sarah 43, from Little Easter who runs Chelmsford Leisure Centre, trained after taking her own daughter, Sophie along to the Rhodes Saturday sessions and finding she was the only girl.

That was two years ago when Sophie was five. Sarah said: “When I took my daughter along, there were a lot of sisters who just stood and watched. My daughter started to play but at first she was the only girl among 50 boys.

“I think it’s important that girls have the opportunity to play football if they want to. It’s a male dominated sport at present which deters girls from wanting to join in. So many girls enjoy playing with their brothers in the back garden but it’s a daunting thought to start playing with lots of boys at a club.

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“By offering girls-only sessions they feel much more comfortable coming along and it’s amazing how quickly their confidence grows when they realise they can play as well as the boys, if not better in some cases.

“It would be great to have a girls only team in Great Dunmow but ultimately I want to give girls the opportunity to do something they may not otherwise of done and who knows we may have a future England women’s captain among them.”

This month, Sarah is offering free coaching sessions at primary schools in Great Dunmow, Thaxted, Stebbing and Great Easton to encourage girls to enjoy the game. After visiting Great Dunmow Primary School on Friday (October 2), she said: “I ran a free session for Years 1, 2 and 3. I had 52 girls show up, I was only expecting 10-15. It was a bit chaotic, but amazing.”

Children’s free Saturday morning football sessions for girls and boys are held by Dunmow Rhodes Youth Football Club on Dunmow Recreation Ground between 9am and 10am. Youngsters should wear track-suit bottoms and trainers and bring a bottle of water.