My love for the game
My love of football began at an early age. I would often join in with my older brother and his friends. My older sister and brother also took me to watch my local team Birmingham City FC from about the age of five.
When I was young there were no grassroots girl’s teams. At primary school girls had to play netball in PE whilst boys played football. The school team was for boys only. There were no mixed football teams at school.
At senior school I attended a girl’s school where it was deemed unladylike to play football.
When I saw football differently
It was not until I was in my early 20s in the mid-1980s that I saw a group of women playing football in my local park whilst I was walking my dog. They were a team called Solihull Ladies. I asked to join in and joined the team playing in the Midlands League. Women’s football was still in its early stages of development. There were no professional players and any costs were funded by the players.
I continued to play in the women’s league and represented a number of clubs including Birmingham City Ladies FC and finished my football career in my 40s at West Bromwich Albion Ladies FC.
I regret that there had been no opportunity for me to participate in football until I was in my 20s. I missed the early development stages of learning new skills, techniques and ball control. I went straight into playing competitive football. I believe I would have been a more creative player had I had the opportunity to have received coaching 15 years earlier.
Giving something back
This is the reason why I decided to set up Sporting Club Futsal. It is to give young girls in the local area the opportunity to discover football and learn new skills in a fun environment. Our focus is to help the players become comfortable on the ball. To be able to beat an opponent in a one v one situation in a small area through skill and technique. Players will then be more confident when playing for a team.
Our sessions are for girls of any ability. All players will be involved 100% of the time. There will be no sitting out on the side line watching more advanced players get more game time. Our focus is on each child as an individual and helping each player improve.
We aim to encourage players to implement new techniques/skills in a match situation at the end of each session. We want to create a learning environment where the fear of failure is removed and emphasis is on the importance of trying new skills amongst friends however successful.