With the buzz around the women's game at an all-time high, sparked by the Lionesses’ Euros glory this summer, there are now more opportunities than ever for girls to play football in our region.
The Doncaster & District Junior Sunday Football League has responded to the increased interest in the women’s game with the launch of a brand-new girls’ league for the 2022-23 season.
Previously, girls who wanted to play football in Doncaster either had to play in mixed teams or travel further afield to play girls’ only football. But now, girls between the ages of seven and ten have access to a girls’ only league on their doorstep.
The new league, which got underway at the start of September, has 28 teams and nearly 400 registered players taking part in its debut season.
Photo: some of the teams taking part in the league’s first season
By working with the Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA and local clubs, the league has ambitious plans to grow women’s and girls’ football in Doncaster.
Russell Higham, League Secretary, said: “As a league, we felt we needed to reflect the communities we serve. After being inspired by local clubs, many of which have started a new girls’ team or developed existing ones, we committed our time and resources to launching a new Doncaster girls' league.
“We are delighted by the great response from clubs across Doncaster to sign up for the first season, and we are determined to grow the league over the coming years.”
With a goal to increase female participation from 4,500 to 10,000 registered players by 2024, the Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA is working alongside the Football Association (FA) and grassroots partners to get more women and girls active and playing football.
Molly Johnson, Youth Development Officer at the Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA, believes bringing a girls’ only league closer to home will encourage more girls in Doncaster to get involved in football.
Molly said: “The brand-new league means more opportunities for girls to play football in our county. It also means that for those girls who want to play girls only football locally, that there’s now an option to do so.
“We would also like to reach out to clubs that currently don't have any female provision, to get involved with setting up a girls’ teams to provide equal access for girls. With the new league playing fixtures on a Saturday, there is plenty of opportunities for clubs to facilitate both male and female football.”
If your club is looking to grow its female provision, get in touch with Molly Johnson at Molly.Johnson@sheffieldfa.com
For more information on the league, follow their Facebook page (@DoncasterJuniorLeague), visit www.ddjsfl1968.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org