This weekend we will celebrate and showcase the development of girls’ football as four under 8s teams from the Doncaster and District Junior Sunday Football League visit the Eco-Power Stadium.
Teams from Bessacarr Belles, Retford Juniors, Scawthorpe Scorpions and Edenthorpe Juniors are set to play on the pitch this afternoon to highlight the opportunities available for young girls to enter the game.
Girls in the city had previously been forced to play in mixed teams or travel further afield. But now seven to ten-year-olds have access to girls-only football after the DDJSFL – proudly sponsored by Doncaster Rovers – launched a Saturday girls’ league for the 2022/23 season, sparked by the Lionesses’ triumph in the European Championship last summer.
In its debut season, the league has 28 teams and nearly 400 registered players, including the four teams that make up the U8 section that will be showcased today.
Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA has set a target of increasing the number of registered female players from 4,500 to 10,000 by 2024 and the DDJSFL is seeking to support the plans to grow the game at grassroots level.
County FA youth development officer Molly Johnson said: “The new league means more opportunities for girls to play football in our county. It also means that for those girls who want to play girls-only football locally, that there’s now an option to do so.
“We would also like to reach out to clubs that currently don't have any female provision, to get involved with setting up a girls’ teams to provide equal access for girls. With the new league playing fixtures on a Saturday, there is plenty of opportunities for clubs to facilitate both male and female football.”
If your club is looking to grow its female offering, contact Molly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For enquiries on the DDJSFL’s girls' provision, contact Claire Travis on email@example.com.