The start of something new
For the first time ever, we will see the start of Under 8 girls’ football across Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA. For many young girls this will be their first step of formalised football playing in a league environment.
Julie Higgins the Secretary of the Sheffield and Hallamshire Women and Girls League said “ We are happy to announce that they will be starting an U8's age group from the 21/22 season. We have had a fantastic response so far with 15 teams registering to play at U8's. The league now offers football for girls from the age of 6 through to open age with multiple divisions at all age. We look forward to working with the new clubs and teams in the 21/22 season”.
To help kickstart this activity and set the scene for the players, coaches, referees, and parents, Leisure United hosted an U8 girls’ tournament at the weekend. The small sided tournament provided over 50 girls aged 6-8 years old an opportunity to play in a match day environment, learn new skills, listen to tactics and develop their love for the game.
James Livesey, Club Secretary at AFC Pogmoor said, “Our U8 Girls were so nervous but at the same time excited about playing and they were not disappointed and loved every minute. The tournament was really well run, and the refereeing was spot on.”
The development of an Under 8 girls’ division is the start of longer-term plans to develop girls’ football across the area. With the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 Tournament coming to Rotherham and Sheffield next year, this is a great time to encourage new girls into the game.
Molly Johnson, Youth Development Officer at SHCFA said “We’re extremely fortunate that the tournament is coming to Sheffield and Rotherham and we hope that many more girls will be inspired to take part in football, whether this is playing in a team or a more recreational opportunity like the Weetabix Wildcats programme. We aim to have an opportunity for all girls within a 15-minute walk of their home”.