Football has been the top participation sport for women and girls in England since 2002, and Team GB Women gained a lot of fans when they reached the quarter finals of the London Olympics in 2012 – the Lionesses. Accrington Stanley have had their own Ladies and Girls teams since 2017.
Kelly-Ann Groves, the Chair of Accrington Stanley Girls and Ladies since 2021, is leading a call for more participants and coaches, as it gives the girls so much more than exercise. Originally starting out with just a single Ladies team, they have added a Reserve team, then two under 15 and two under 14 Girls teams, and more recently two under 11 Girls teams. At the end of the current season the FA have given permission to change their name to Accrington Stanley Women.
Kelly-Ann commented, “Here at Accrington Stanley Girls and Ladies, it’s not just about football or competition. It gives the girls so much confidence, they gain new friends, and they’re so accepting and really help each other. They train at their own level, there’s no pressure. Through to the older players, they really bond, help and support each other and build so much resilience.”
The players agree. Heather Oates said, “I like how important creating a welcoming and fun place is from the players and coaches, and also how supportive and helpful everyone can be in improving on and off the pitch.”
Cara McCormick added, “We are one big family. The best thing is the banter with the coaches and players!”
The teams train and play home matches at the Stanley Sports Hub, the state of the art £2m community facility developed and operated by Accrington Stanley Community Trust. Situated at Higham Playing Fields on Thorneyholme Road, Accrington, the Stanley Sports Hub provides fantastic indoor and outdoor facilities for many different organisations.
They are looking for more players, and coaches. If you’d like to try a taster session at Accrington Stanley Girls and Ladies, just turn up or email email@example.com. The First team and Reserves train Friday 8-10pm, the Under 14s and 15s on Wednesday 5-6pm, and Under 11s Friday 5-6pm. First team games are Sunday at 2pm. All training sessions and the home matches are at the Stanley Sports Hub on Thorneyholme Road, Accrington. You can see more about the teams here:
See more about #AmazingAccrington here: www.amazingaccrington.co.uk