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Meet The Under 18s

Our group of Under-18s formed with the ambition to create a pathway between junior and senior football which has otherwise lacked for girls in Worcester. Without teams like our U18s, it’s very common for girls and young women to drop out of football within their teenage years due to a variety of factors. However, as women’s football continues to develop in England and beyond, more teams like ours can help to keep girls continuing to play the sport they love. 

We asked Assistant Coach David Roberts a few questions about his group of U18s...

How did your U18s group start?

I got involved in girls’ football in 2015 when my twin daughters started to play. Since then, I have coached a girls’ team at Warndon Villages Football Club for eight seasons.  However, for various reasons, junior football ends in Y11 (GCSE year) and I was keen to try and create a pathway for the players from junior to senior football. 

In January of last year, I met Nicole through a mutual coaching contact. Our initial discussions centred around the prospect of forming an Under-18 team at WCWFC. It became evident early on that we shared a mutual vision to create a centre of excellence for girls' football that could bridge the gap between the junior and senior games. 

Last summer we held open trials and successfully formed a squad consisting of 20 players. These players, in Year 11 and Year 12, were drawn from three local clubs, Welland, Warndon Villages, and Nunnery Wood who were all unable to sustain teams beyond Year 11 independently. 

Why do you feel it’s important for young girls to see a pathway leading to the potential of joining the first team?

Girls’ sport is underfunded, underreported and under-invested. Women in Sport research statistics show that 43% of girls who played competitive sports at primary school have stopped by secondary school, compared with only 24% of boys. The reason for this disparity is down to three main factors, stereotyping, lack of playing opportunities and lack of girls-specific coaching.  

Worcester City Women FC is trying to redress this balance by making women’s and girls’ football our mission.

For our players, it gives them an opportunity to play in a competitive league (Central Warwickshire Girls Football League) where our City U18s are currently 7th out of 14.  It also provides a pathway into the development team and maybe onwards to the first team. It has also given the players their first exposure to a professional sports environment, a side that is run by female UEFA coaches. We also have comprehensive support from WCWFC’s wider coaching staff, including strength and conditioning experts, physiotherapists, and sports psychologists.

What is your favourite part of working with this group of players? 

Oh, that is easy, the energy and optimism of youth! Training on Tuesdays and match days on Saturdays are never dull. It has been an absolute privilege to see how their football has developed over the years and to see how they have grown from children into young adults... Go City!

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