Girls football at Margate FC is continuing to grow with the club now hosting seven teams from U10s to U18s playing in the Kent Girls and Women’s Football League.
The growth coincides with this month’s Women’s European Championships with England taking victory on July 6 with a 1-0 win over Austria and now preparing for the match against Norway tomorrow (July 11).
New Margate director Sarah Higgs oversees the girls teams in the youth section which offer a pathway to progress into the club’s senior Ladies side, managed by Evan Paris.
One player that has followed the pathway right through is Laura Aldridge who featured for the Youth sides, before making the step into the senior ladies side.
It has been a remarkable growth in girls and ladies football at Hartsdown Park, something which Sarah wants to continue.
She said: “We now have seven sides that feed into our senior Ladies side, we host two Wildcat sessions for girls at Hartsdown Park and the demand to play girls football is growing all the time.
“We have girls as young as four enquiring about starting their football journey with us which is so good to see.”
The Wildcat sessions are aimed specifically at getting young girls into the game, offering a safe environment for them to develop their game ready to move into a team environment, or equally for them to just enjoy playing football each week.
The girls in the current set-up have extra reason to get behind the National Women’s side as many of them were part of a trip to Colchester United to watch their heroes face Kazakhstan in 2017, seeing the Lionesses win 5-0.
As well as offering a safe environment to play football, the Youth section offers young girls the chance to make friends whilst playing football, as well as assisting them to develop in other areas of the game, with many girls going on to become referees and coaches in the local area.
Sarah said: “It offers so much more to the girls than just an opportunity to play football. It helps give them the confidence to develop and make friends, as well as have a go at coaching and refereeing.”
For more information on the Girls section, please contact email@example.com
Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme
There are plenty more youth activities at the club which is now preparing to host its Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme.
Funded by government the programme aims to address food poverty, inactivity, isolation and learning loss by children, through activities and the provision of a hot meal and healthy snacks.
Thanet’s HAF programme is aimed at children in receipt of benefits-related free school meals.
Margate FC will be running the programme for primary school children for four weeks between July 25 and August 18 at its Hartsdown Park home.
Each day activities will run from 9am-1pm, offering children the chance to take part in various sporting activities, such as football, dodgeball and rounders.
There will also be arts and crafts and other workshops. All children will receive a healthy meal every day as part of the programme. Book via the Evouchers online system, using voucher codes issued by your child’s primary school.
There will also be the return of the Margate FC Summer School in August.
The Summer events will take place on Wednesday 3rd August – Friday 5th August and Wednesday 24th August – Friday 26th August.
Sessions are from 10am-3pm and are for young footballers aged 4-12 years old.
An additional early drop-off service is available from 9am each day for an extra £3 charge per day.
Brought to Hartsdown Park by Margate Youth FC and Margate FC Community Trust. All youngsters need to do is bring shin pads, a packed lunch, and water.
The Margate FC Soccer School costs £15 per day or £40 for three days.
Margate FC news bites
The club has signed Midfielder Adeyinka ‘Ade’ Cole. The box-to-box Midfielder is Manager Andy Drury’s eighth signing of the summer. Cole featured last season for Isthmian Premier side Haringey Borough. The 27-year old has vast experience in the non-league game, with former clubs including Leiston Grays Athletic, Dulwich Hamlet, Enfield, Hemel Hempstead, Billericay and Braintree Town.
The U18s FA Youth Cup draw resulted in Pat Sucliffe’s side drawn away to Sheppey United for the Extra Preliminary Round. The tie will take place at The Total Power Stadium on the week commencing the August 15. Should the U18’s be successful in getting the win against Sheppey United, then another away trip, this time to AFC Croydon Athletic for the Preliminary Round awaits. This tie will take place at Mayfield Stadium on the week commencing August 29.