Girls football team playing boys 'as a challenge' wins league
- Credit: Shrublands Under 13 Girls
An all-girls football team are celebrating beating every boys' team in their age group to emerge as league champions.
Shrublands U13 Girls were undefeated all season - an achievement their manager said was his most rewarding to date.
After some eight games and an impressive 32 goals they emerged as Division 3 winners after a 4-3 away win against Corton on Sunday in the Norfolk and Suffolk Youth Football League.
During the whole season they only conceded four goals and took home a couple of big wins including one 12-1 thrashing.
Manager John Barrett said they were a talented team with no weak links and everyone having their own strengths.
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Having been together for three years, they played their first two seasons in the boys' Sunday league, but a year below, under a pilot scheme.
However, having proved themselves worthy opponents they were pushed up to their own age group "as a challenge."
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Without the pandemic they would have played 16 games, but four teams pulled out and although they did play some others the scores of eight matches were officially registered.
The team, which also plays in a girls' Saturday league, features players from as far as Thetford, Watton, and Bawdeswell, with around half from Gorleston.
Mr Barrett, said the boys soon realised they were in for a good game when they started playing.
And while not all the teams were sporting in defeat there had never been any major problems.
He said any difference in physicality was made up for by the girls' skills - being quick on the pitch and quick thinking.
Meanwhile, the girls were "over the moon" , the majority having their sights set on higher football goals having seen what was being achieved at national and international level with the Lionesses.
Although they will miss out on a presentation evening normally held at Gorleston's Ocean Room, due to Covid, the team is planning to celebrate with ice creams on the beach.
They have one more game on Sunday but will move up to play with the under 14s in division two next year.
Mr Barrett said he wanted to thank parents for their amazing support and commitment.
The team comprises Mr Barrett as manager, Keegan Snell as assistant manager, Alyssia Barrett as captain, Isabelle Peachey as goal keeper, Marcie Mccullagh as vice captain, and players Scarlett Snell, Maddie Green, Katie Green, Ruby Gabell, Charlotte Pernet, Addi Gregory, Sofia Odell, Megan Haynes, Ruby Timms, Beatriz Silva, Stevie Potter, and Eva Patterson.
The team kit is sponsored by Completely Coach Travel.