More girls should give football a try is the message from Soham United Football Club U11 team manager

PUBLISHED: 11:37 12 June 2018

Soham United Football Club U11 won the St Ives Annual Tournament

Soham United Football Club U11 won the St Ives Annual Tournament

Archant

Football isn’t just for boys. Accia and Steve Sharpe, managers of the Soham United Football Club U11 team, are encouraging more girls to get involved in the sport – here’s why.

Soham United Football Club U11 won the St Ives Annual Tournament Soham United Football Club U11 won the St Ives Annual Tournament

Historically, football has always been seen as a boys sport and we just found that there was not enough exposure to girls football.

So we decided to post some adverts on Facebook inviting girls from our village and surrounding areas to a trial.

Initially we had 10 girls and found that there was an interest in joining a club. Unfortunately these girls just couldn’t find a club which had an all girls team.

We approached our club Soham United Youth FC with the idea of the girls team as we had a full team.

The Soham United FC U11 girls team at their presentation evening with managers Accia and Steve Sharpe.The Soham United FC U11 girls team at their presentation evening with managers Accia and Steve Sharpe.

Our chairperson, Gaynor Fisher, being female herself, had given us the support we needed, Milton Executive Taxi’s were very supportive and quick to sponsor the girls match day kits. We have now grown to almost double the size. All the girls needed was someone to believe in them, give them the opportunity and help support them in becoming footballers.

Our girls have gone from never kicking a ball to winning the St Ives Annual Tournament on June 2.

This was a massive achievement for them, ending the season with a huge accomplishment.

Football has helped the girls grow in confidence and boosted their self esteem and self belief.

The Soham United FC U11 girls team at their presentation evening with managers Accia and Steve Sharpe.The Soham United FC U11 girls team at their presentation evening with managers Accia and Steve Sharpe.

They have made many friends and become a very close knit team, playing for each other, encouraging and praising each other.

They have the same determination and desire boys have and they now don’t shy away from playing against or with boys.

They enjoy training and are always having fun whilst challenging themselves to do better.

We have found that this has brought the community together, and everyone is talking about the team and encouraging their own daughters to get involved.

Soham United Football Club U11 won the St Ives Annual Tournament Soham United Football Club U11 won the St Ives Annual Tournament

We believe this brings families together as well as they have another thing in common and help support siblings.

Football had helped the girls interactive skills and helped with fitness and staying active.

It teaches them good communication and sociable skills, it just helps build their confidence in more than just football.

We believe with the right support, commitment and encouragement females can succeed in a male dominated sport.

This is bigger than just football; it gives them a sense of belonging.

They may not be the coolest girl in school but when they are on the football pitch they can do anything they put their minds to.

Over the last eight months parents and us as managers have seen a huge difference and they have become confident young girls.

We’ve had two girls join the Norwich Elite girls squad - one even went on tour to the north west and had the opportunity to hold the Premier League cup.

The girls have finished their session on a high note and are more confident than ever having won the tournament.

If anyone is interested in joining the team they should call Accia Sharpe on 07802 526282 or email accia.sharpe@gmail.com

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