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Luton Town FC girls were given a special coaching session, as England and Arsenal star Danielle Carter stunned the group with a surprise visit.
Scorer of the winning goal in May's SSE Women's FA Cup Final, Carter was given a warm reception from the girls, many of whom only began playing football earlier this year.
Carter's visit to Luton Town FC is part of the new girls-only football programme from the FA and energy firm SSE. The programme, which aims to create new opportunities for girls to experience the game, has had more than 60 clubs from across the country sign up, and it's a programme that Luton Town FC Club Secretary David Baker feels could have huge benefits for the women's game.
"We're incredibly proud to have so many girls in the club and to be part of the special developments that are taking place in the women's game around the country," he said. "The girls were thrilled to meet Danielle and who knows, maybe one or two can on to emulate her and lift the SSE Women's FA Cup."
For Carter, whose Arsenal side lifted a record 14th FA Cup in front of a record crowd at Wembley Stadium, the timing couldn't be better. "It's a great time to be involved in women's football and I'm sure the opportunity for girls to learn the game in a fun environment is another big step forward. I certainly hope to see a few or more of these faces again in the future," she said.
The programme provides clubs with funding to create girls only coaching sessions and is part of SSE's commitment to supporting the women's game. John Stewart, SSE's Director of Human Resources, commented: "SSE is exceptionally proud to be sponsoring the SSE Women's FA Cup and supporting the grassroots game, inspiring and encouraging more girls to take up the sport.
"For us this sponsorship not only brings huge awareness at the senior level of the game but most importantly will help dramatically increase the opportunities for girls to get involved in football.
"We're delighted so many teams have signed up to take part and are helping deliver coaching sessions across the country to the next generation of footballers."
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