Inter Insular Girls Football

    •  

On Sunday 14th May, the Guernsey FA hosted a series of girls friendly age group inter-insular fixtures.

The matches, between the Guernsey FA (GFA) Girls Academy and the Jersey FA Girls Centre of Excellence, were played at Northfield in front of a large crowd of over 200 supporters. With over 40 girls representing Guernsey in these matches, the ‘Goal 21’ strategy, and ambition to ensure that in 2021 there is a Senior Women’s team that can represent both the Association and Guernsey, is clearly gaining momentum. Being selected to represent Guernsey, and the Guernsey Football Association, in any Island Games is a fantastic achievement, but the opportunity to do so in a home Island Games, is one that very few Sarnians will be fortunate to have and it is exciting to see that those in the Guernsey FA Girls Academy are embracing the ‘Goal21’ aspiration.

The underlying premise of ‘Goal21’ is to provide resource, support and opportunities to those players that will be eligible for selection in 2021 and that begins with those girls currently in school year 7 and above, many of whom participated on Sunday. The girls within the Academy currently enjoy weekly training sessions with qualified coaches, Joelle Pengelley, Dave Kenneally and Rick Batiste who were all proud after watching some impressive individual and team performances, along with outstanding goals, that were on display to the many family, friends and supporters in attendance who helped to create a great atmosphere for the players from both islands.

After the matches, Head Coach Pengelley reflected on the day and commented:

‘To have over 40 girls involved was really pleasing, particularly in the knowledge that there were a number of other who couldn’t be involved due to other commitments. To see the progress that many of them have made in a short period of time just illustrates what is possible through hard work, determination and commitment. For many of the girls, this journey began after participating within inter-school based age group competitions earlier this season.

Within the last two years a lot of time, energy and resource has been invested in, and committed towards, improving the opportunities for girls to play the game. We now offer lunch clubs and after-school clubs in primary schools, along with delivering PE lessons and inter-school tournaments for secondary school age groups. In addition we also run the Ravenscroft Girls Player Development Centre, which has  a number of girls who will be progressing into the Girls Academy next season and being involved in events such as this.’

Each of the three matches was played in a great spirit and the camaraderie between the players was fantastic and Pengelley added that

‘I am really proud of these age groups and they epitomise the bright future for women and girls football in Guernsey. They have worked hard and their development has been clear to see. I am looking forward to continuing to work with these girls, starting with the return trip to Jersey on 3rd June. I am confident that many of these girls will be representing Guernsey in 2021 and I would like to thank the Ray Lowe Foundation, Deloitte and Ravenscroft for the continued and invaluable support they provide to the GFA in developing the opportunities for girls to play the sport.’

The GFA is committed towards ensuring that Representative football remains an aspiration for the many young girls now playing the sport and the matches on Sunday were the first step in many of these girls gaining full Representative honours in the years to come.

For more information about the various opportunities for girls to get involved in football in Guernsey, please contact Women & Girls Development Officer, Joelle Pengelley:

Email – Joelle.pengelley@guernseyfa.com

Tel – 01481 200443

Football Foundation Banner