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Belles

BELLES REUNITED | Juniors welcomed back into the family

21 May 2024

Belles

BELLES REUNITED | Juniors welcomed back into the family

21 May 2024

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The Belles are proud to confirm we have reunited with Doncaster Belles Juniors in the same family for the first time in more than a decade.

Positive changes in leadership in recent years across both organisations have led to the reunion, with the primary goal of providing a strong pathway for young female players in the city.

The Belles Juniors have provided age group football for girls since breaking away from the senior club. Now under the Club Doncaster umbrella, the Juniors will bridge the gap between the Wildcats and the Elite Talent Pathway - giving a full route to senior level from U7.

Belles chief executive Chris Wood said: “It came together at a perfect time. After launching the Wildcats, we now have young players who have been here and grown as part of the programme wanting to play games, so we were looking at creating junior teams.

“Someone mentioned that those teams already exist in Doncaster Belles Juniors and if we joined together, we could get closer to our aim of having the best local talent coached by the best local coaches.

“We want to offer the opportunity for as many Doncaster girls as possible to play football for us, which is why we’re so proud to offer a team for every age group.

“If you’re just starting out, we have the Wildcats programme. If you have some experience, we have a team for every age group from 7-16. We then work with the best talent in those age groups in our ETC.

“We believe Our Elite Talent Pathway for ages 16-21 provides our players with the best training you can get outside of a Professional Game Academy leading into the senior set up. 

“Our first team are building towards a promotion push this season to take the Belles on the first step of their journey back to where they used to be and where they belong.

“We believe the foundations we are laying now can fulfil the dream we have that a player can complete the entire journey where they join as a Wildcat, progress to Junior Belles, moves up to ETC, joins the Elite Talent Pathway, and one day contributes to Belles first team. That’s what we are working towards.”

Junior Belles chairman Gareth Walton said: “When Chris Wood approached us, it seemed like the perfect time to put any issues in the past behind us - particularly with none of us being involved at that time - and take the opportunity as both of us want to grow female football across Doncaster.

“We were already really proud of our flourishing junior section. We have a great set up with a clubhouse and pitches at Brodsworth, but we know with the support from Doncaster Rovers Belles and the weight that the name and badge carries, we can take everything we do to the next level.

“We’ve been guests at a couple of games at Eco-Power Stadium. Some of younger players were mascots and ball operatives at one of the Belles games. It just shows the girls the levels that they can achieve through football in Doncaster by being a part of this family.”

All junior teams will wear the same kit as the first team, and a nod to the Belles historic past will be seen when the shirt for next season is revealed.

The Belles ETC and Junior Belles are holding trials on June 4, 6 and 12 from 5-8pm at the Eco-Power Stadium. Expressions of interest forms can be found on the Belles social media channels @DonnyBelles.

More than 150 people have already put their names forward, so it looks to be a positive start to the future for the reunited Belles.


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