Girls want a break from playing boys

THEY have plenty of passion for the game, but a girls' football team are hoping for a chance to compete on a level playing field.Gorleston Rangers U10 have spent the last two seasons struggling to compete as the only girls team in their division of the Norfolk and Suffolk Youth League, writes Miles Jermy.

THEY have plenty of passion for the game, but a girls' football team are hoping for a chance to compete on a level playing field.

Gorleston Rangers U10 have spent the last two seasons struggling to compete as the only girls team in their division of the Norfolk and Suffolk Youth League, writes Miles Jermy.

With the new season looming, the team may again miss the chance of competing in a dedicated girls' league.

It's the last season the team could play mixed-sex football and they are considering transferring to the Norfolk Girls' and Women's League, where there is division for their age group.

Although the girls have bags of enthusiasm they are finding it less and less rewarding struggling to compete against boys' teams.

Manager Jason Croft, whose nine year old twins Hannah and Mary play for the team, said: “We have been told that the league will not be running a girls' league at either U10 or U11. This is the third time we have been let down, for the past two seasons we have been playing as the only all-girls' team in the boys' league

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“We have been promised a dedicated girls' league since we have been playing, but it hasn't materialised. If this trend continues there will be no girls' football in the forthcoming years.

“There must be girls out there who want to play football, but perhaps the clubs are not doing enough to attract them.

“We now have to go back to our players and tell them we will be playing boys again next season, and run the risk of losing a very talented squad.”

Norfolk and Suffolk League chairman Shaun Platten said: “If the clubs do not come forward, what can we do? It is up to them to take the initiative on this.

“Of course we are more than willing to organise a league for this age group, but it isn't possible if only one team comes forward.

“We will be running girls' league at U12 to U16, but at U10 and U11 the clubs have not responded.”