By Leisa Brooking, BSYFC Girls coach.
Bradley Stoke Youth FC (BSYFC) has boys’, mixed and girls’ teams. We are the girls’ team – playing in a league for girls only.
We currently have about 80 girls training across our three teams – Under-11s (Year 5 & 6), Under-13s (Year 7 & 8) and Under-15s (Year 9 & 10). Most girls started with us between the ages of 6 and 8 and have continued through the age ranges. The girls can start playing in the Bristol Girls’ League from the age of 8 in a 5-a-side match and continue up to the age of 16 playing 11-a-side.
Our new under-9s team
We are seeing an increasing demand for young girls to play football with their friends. As a result, we are setting up a new U9 team for girls in school Years 3 & 4 and are looking for more girls to get involved.
We have seen how our daughters have benefitted from playing football. It’s not just about fitness or learning a new sport because they learn about team spirit, the importance of being committed and not letting the team down and turning up to training rain or shine. It is potentially a new skill that could take them into a career – as a player, coach, referee, blogger, commentator, sports therapist… the list of opportunities is endless.
They say that boys learn differently than girls. Girls like to understand why they are doing it. They need to understand the bigger picture or the end result. They learn better visually and prefer someone demonstrating what they have to do or showing them on a whiteboard rather than verbal direction.
Football gives children a common interest with their friends, siblings or family members of all ages and often leads to new friends outside their school life. They also learn more about team sports and that football is not just about attacking and getting goals. It is just as important to defend and keep the goals out. Every player on that pitch is important and contributes to the final result, not just the goal scorers.
Some tips on getting children into football
- Practise daily with a football – starting with a wall or rebound board; include some ball skills
- Use both feet from an early age – you will always have a stronger foot but learn to use the other
- Teach children to get over mistakes quickly, especially in a game where they need to be able bounce back
- Improve their football knowledge, by watching it on the TV or live (which I am sure will be permitted again eventually!) and analysing the play afterwards
- And above all else, have fun!
BSYFC is a voluntary community club aiming to provide football to children of all ages in the local community and looking to the community to support us with training kit sponsorship, donations and volunteers. We currently have two female and nine male coaches for the girls’ teams and would welcome more support.
We restarted training in August and are working to FA guidelines on Covid-19. This includes a health questionnaire before each training session and match to ensure our coaches and players are safe. It also means that we know who attended a session if we had to ‘track and trace’.
How to get in touch
If you have a child interested in joining our new girls’ U9 team, potentially training on a Wednesday, from 6pm-7pm, please contact James Teague on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have girls who would like to play for a younger age group, or any of the older ranges, or you’re interested in getting into coaching, please contact Lee Lawson on email@example.com or Leisa Brooking on firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared in the October 2020 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 16 & 17). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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