Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeFOOTBALLNew Ash Green are latest club to launch a women's side

New Ash Green are latest club to launch a women’s side

It’s so refreshing to hear from one of our new local teams about how they got started in the sport, let us introduce you to New Ash Green FC Ladies.

Kirsty Humphrey, a long serving member of New Ash Green FC (NAG), tells us all about the new ladies team: “I’ve always loved football, my husband has played for NAG seniors and then my son started playing for NAG Juniors when he was four (he’s now 12). I’ve loved standing on the side line but decided I wanted to play in a team sport.

Unfortunately we didn’t have a local ladies football team so I joined the local rugby team and after one game decided it was not for me. So I contacted a lovely lady at Kent FA and asked if I could start a ladies football team which they said was great and they have been very supportive since.

“So last October, I put a post out on social media and couldn’t believe the amount of responses I received. A few ladies had played when they were younger but most of us have never played before. I also had a few messages from ladies just wanting to train for fitness who now all play for the team.

“As we started training we realised we were actually getting good numbers every week and after talking to the ladies, instead of being just ladies training, we decided we wanted to be more competitive, so I found a local league which we are now joining this September.”

Kirsty continues: “To date, we have played five pre-season friendlies, with some lovely ladies teams to try and gain some experience on the field, as none of us had ever played on an 11-a-side pitch before. So far we’ve lost three and won two of those matches and I am very proud to call us New Ash Green FC Ladies.

“We have worked so hard to get where we are and we are hoping to get on well in the upcoming season, but most of all enjoy every minute. I could not have made our team without the amazing group of women that are training twice a week every week. Plus the two fantastic coaches that are training us and walking the line to keep us going through our games.

“We are so excited to get going with the league and get to know the teams in our group and see how well we do.”

• If you live near New Ash Green and would like to join their squad then please contact their Club Secretary, Bob Hamshare, at midkbs@gmail.com.

Women’s football is on the right track despite recent figures
Figures published in July by England Football, part of the Football Association, showed that around 63 per cent of schools in England offer equal football coaching to boys and girls. However, just 44 per cent of secondary schools offer the same to girls in their PE lessons, as calls grow for better access to the sport following the Lionesses’ success in the Euros.

While primary schools tend to offer broad access to girls’ football, participation drops off once girls reach secondary school. Around 72 per cent of primary schools offered equal football coaching to boys and girls last year, but the figure fell to just 44 per cent in secondary schools. Meanwhile, just over a third of secondary schools offered girls equal access to football coaching through extracurricular clubs outside school hours.

As ex-Arsenal and England player Ian Wright quite rightly said after the semi-final match against Sweden: “If there’s no legacy what are we doing here?”

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