The future for Women & Girls football in Guernsey is bright and through the work of the Guernsey FA’s Women & Girls Football Development Officer, Joelle Pengelley, we are now starting to see growth in participation numbers. This growth is a direct result of a variety of initiatives being led by Joelle, including delivery of lunch clubs and after-school clubs in primary schools, along with delivery of PE lessons and inter-school tournaments for secondary school age groups. In addition the Ravenscroft Girls Player Development Centre (5-11 years) and Guernsey FA Girls Academy (12-16 years) are both seeing growth in regular participation as a direct result of the schools based delivery programmes that are led by Joelle and the Guernsey FA.
To ensure a realistic and feasible Representative aspiration exists for the many young girls playing the sport, the Guernsey FA has developed ‘Goal 21’ as a long-term strategy to guide participation and development through to, and beyond, the home Island Games in 2021. Within that strategy is a commitment to continuously work with the many talented young girls coming through the Guernsey FA Girls Academy, to ensure that in 2021, there is a Senior Women’s team that can represent both the Association and Guernsey. 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 and support to those players that will be eligible for selection in 2021 and that begins with those girls currently in school year 7 and above. The girls within the Academy are currently enjoying weekly training sessions with qualified coaches, Joelle Pengelley, Dave Kenneally and Rick Batiste, and have all recently had the opportunity to enjoy participating within inter-school based age group competitions, which were well attended. Head coach, Joelle Pengelley’ looked ahead to the future when commenting;
‘The hard work that the Guernsey FA has put into developing and enhancing participation opportunities for young girls is now starting to see some positive results. It has been great to see so many girls getting involved between the ages of 5-16 and the future is definitely bright. We are committed to working with this talented and enthusiastic group of girls to help them achieve their aspirations and ambition of playing in Guernsey 2021.’