By Martin Lee of Bradley Stoke Youth FC (BSYFC)
The management team of the BSYFC U16 Girls’ squad, Martin and Ross Lee, started girls’ football at the club back in May 2008 when Ross was just 14 years old. The U16 squad was formed in 2010 when the girls were just 7 and 8 years old and they have stayed together to finish fourth in the Bristol Girls League in their final season as U16 girls. We have all had a great time together but now it is time to say goodbye to youth football and start our adult football life together!
The present U16 Girls’ final presentation evening was a red carpet event on 20th April at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Bradley Stoke, where the squad walked the red carpet into the venue sipping mocktails while posing for photos and viewing the complete history of the team showcased through historical photographs over the many years. Then, after being seated at their tables for the welcome introductions from the host for the evening, Martin, the traditional annual video show was presented. Everyone enjoyed the two-course meal while being entertained throughout the evening with Eurovision Song Contest Spot Quiz (with air horns), the annual Managers’ Quiz, the table game ‘Dates’, the Shirt Number game, the mystery players photo quiz, the “Where am I” quiz, the Team History Slideshow and the BSYFC 2018 Comedy Puppet Show, complete with scenes from Titanic, Dirty Dancing, Opera, Ballet, Xmas Songs, Cake Making and Mastermind. Trust me, you had to be there! The disco was playing throughout the night and we finally finished the celebrations in the early hours.
The girls now move to ladies’ football for the season starting in September with great memories of their time in youth football. This will start the process of girls at BSYFC youth football transitioning to the Ladies’ team when they become 16 years old. For Martin and Ross, this signals the end of their time in girls’ youth football, but they have also been running the Ladies’ team for the last three years, so they will just focus on ladies’ football now into the future and help the young girls with their move into adult football.
Ten years after starting girls’ football, the club now boasts 115 female players in dedicated female-only teams. The Bradley Stoke Ladies’ team had 30 players registered with the club last season and will be starting a new second team ready for the new season in September. Once a girl starts at BSYFC, she can now play from Reception class age all the way through to adulthood without having to leave the club, making the transition from youth to adult football very easy.
The club welcomes all players and we will have two teams next season, so we are looking for players to help build the squad.
Photos (from top): 1 Arrival at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. 2 Ross and Martin Lee. 3 Fun and games during the evening. 4 BSYFC U16 Girls pictured in March 2018. 5 The current U16 team as young players in the early days of girls’ football at BSYFC.
This article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 10 & 11). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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