As we celebrate the launch of Squad Girls Football, we have sat down with one of our Surrey providers, Andrew Hall from Churt Girls FC, to find out why they wanted to be part of the programme and why recreational football for this age group is so important.
Why have you decided to be a Squad provider?
At Churt Girls FC, we have been running development sessions for girls from year 1 to year 9 for about one year as we are determined to get as many girls playing football as possible. It has been easier to recruit at the younger ages, and more tricky at the older ages.
When we saw there was an opportunity to be a Squad provider we immediately signed up.
The main benefit we think will be the advertising and promotion that Surrey FA will give to the programme. This should be more wide reaching than the advertising we have been able to give to our development sessions, and will therefore result in more players coming along. Having more players coming along will make the experience better for the players, and make it more likely that they will continue playing football, and in the coming years start to play matches as well.
There is also some funding available which is nice to have, but is not the main reason for becoming involved in Squad Girls.
What do you think the impact of Squad will be and why is it important?
There is no doubt in our mind that Squad Girls will get more secondary school aged girls playing football than would otherwise have been the case. It is also sending a message to girls of this age that even if they may not have played football before, it is not too late to start playing,
I also think that there will be a secondary benefit to clubs that do not take part in Squad Girls through the provision of recreational, small sided organised matches for girls of this age.
The Squad Girls programme will need to give the players the opportunity of playing matches with girls from a different Squad Girls provider. I see this broadening so beginners at Clubs who are not part of the programme will be also be allowed to play matches with the Squad Girls, making it easier for all of these girls to eventually step up so that they can play competitive matches if they want to.
If you could send one message to a teenager wanting to be part of the programme, what would it be?
Football can develop into a lifelong passion, more so than most other sports. It is never too old to start playing football, and you may well love it. The first step of going along to try it is the most difficult to take, but it is well worth taking – you just need to make sure you start with girls who are of the same level of experience that you are. Squad Girls will be the ideal place to take that first step.
What are your aspirations as a club and how does Squad fit into that?
As a club, Churt Girls FC wants to get as many girls and women playing football on a regular basis as possible, both socially but also as part of a team. We are focussed on getting players coming along that have not played football before, and we welcome players of all ages, and levels of ability. Squad Girls will help us to get more year 8 and year 9 players, and it should help girls of other ages to come along as well, as it is sending a message out that it is never too old to start playing football – you just need to start playing with other beginners.
What role do you think recreational football will play in the future or growing the women and girls game?
It is going to be massively important as many girls have hardly ever kicked a football before, so starting playing in a small sided, friendly, non-competitive format will make more girls want to give it a go, and they will enjoy it a lot more. Some will choose to just continue with recreational football, but others will want to move on to play competitive matches.
If you’d like to become a Squad provider, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more information about Squad by heading to our dedicated page on our website, by following the link below.
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