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Women's Football News
The FA Girls' Football Festival in association with Continental Tyres visited Northwich on Monday 16th June.
334 girls from local schools got in the festival mood as they descended on Moss Farm Leisure Complex to take part in the free programme aimed at increasing and retaining participation in the game. The event was organised through the support of the Cheshire County FA.
The participants, aged 5-11 years old, were accompanied by England and Everton player Fern Whelan and Manchester City player Isobel Christiansen, who took part in activities including a question and answer session!
The format of the day was fun and active, combining football, lifestyle and music. FA approved coaches led the festival and activities included skills and drills, interactive games (target shoot, speed cage, batak boards) and mini matches inside an inflatable pitch. Referee ambassadors delivered a refereeing workshop and girls also had the chance to pose with the FA WSL trophy, the Cyprus Cup and The FA WSL Continental Cup. In addition, the FA WSL mascot Berry the Bear was in attendance, along with Gresty the Lion from Crewe Alexander FC and there was hair braiding and face painting to add to the festival atmosphere. The two mascots took part in a dance off with Berry coming out the winner on the crowd's decision.
Speaking about the opportunities she had when she started playing football as an eight-year-old, Fern Whelan said: "Very little compared to what there are now, I used to play as part of a boys team and I was the only girl, so it took a lot of effort and time to succeed where as now they have a lot more opportunities like this."
Issy Christiansen highlighted the importance of getting girls involved in football to continue the development of the game. "It helps girls improve and lets them know that there are teams out there that they can play for", said the Manchester City striker. "A few of the girls have come up to me and said they want to find a team to play, so I think that epitomises the importance of the event and shows how much the girls enjoy it."
The girls will have the opportunity to watch top level women's football in Widnes as two of the country's biggest cities go head-to-head when the FA WSL returns from its mid-season break. London and Liverpool will battle it out for city supremacy when Arsenal and Chelsea travel up to Merseyside for a double header on Sunday 29th June.
Liverpool will take on Arsenal (12.15pm kick off) at the Select Security Stadium in Halton, followed by Everton's match against Chelsea (3.15pm).
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