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Goals for Girls
 Women's Football News 11 Feb 2014
This month's London FA Goals for Girls Festival took place on 8th February at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. 
The festival was open for any organisations to enter such as schools, clubs and even individuals who may be looking to find a team.
The festival took place on the indoor 3G dome and for many of the teams this was their first opportunity to play football this year due to the dreadful weather conditions we have been having recently. Two age groups were participating, Under-11s and Under-13s and there were 15 teams taking part, which totalled over 100 girls in attendance.
On this occasion we were fortunate to have England and Arsenal goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain and also Millwall Lionesses player Leanne Cowan and Manager Alberto Kurti present to meet with the girls, sign autographs and have photographs taken.
Siobhan Chamberlain commented: "It's fantastic to see so many young girls here playing football and there has been some really good talent on display."
With Millwall Lionesses Ladies FC announcing last week that they would be playing their WSL 2 matches at The Den this season, it was a great opportunity for Millwall to expand their local fan base and encourage the girls to come and support them.
Leanne Cowan said: "It's great to see so many girls here at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre; it brings back some great memories of playing here in the London Youth Games. We hope that as the local WSL club some of the girls will be keen to come down and support the Lionesses at The Den this season."
The afternoon was a great example of how we can bring girls together to get plenty of match time in a fun and relaxed environment without needing to keep scores and having a winner. Events like this are a great opportunity for newly formed teams, schools and grassroots clubs to come together and give girls' the opportunity to play football in a fun and relaxed football.
Another benefit of these festivals is for clubs to help with recruiting new players through links that they can make with the local school teams that enter.
As well as the girls having a great afternoon of football and benefiting from the flexible format, it was also an opportunity for three young officials to gain some invaluable experience by officiating the matches.
Emma Barnes, Women's & Girls' Football Development Officer, London FA says: "Today has been fantastic and the turnout has exceeded all expectations. The girls have all played with a smile on their face and shown how girls' football is going from strength to strength in London. By having Siobhan and Leanne here the girls were able to be inspired by women who have made it to the top level in the game and it was great to see how excited the girls were when they met them."
The next Goals for Girls Festival will be taking place on 22nd March and will be hosted by Dalmain Athletic Girls FC, at Downham Playing Fields, BR1 4RP. There will be Under-9, Under-11 and Under-13 games taking place. For more information or to register please contact: emma.barnes@londonfa.com or (07921) 050375.
Also for local girls age 5-13 years old the London FA Tesco Skills team will be running a FREE coaching session at Long Lane JFC, SE3 pm. There are spaces still available and to book on please visit; TescoSkills.TheFA.com/SkillCentres/London/LongLaneJFC

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