Girls and Football

“I've joined the School Football Team”, said Milly Rose one day after Primary School. “Really!, What position?” “Right Wing or Striker”, came her reply.   I never even knew she liked football. She had probably tagged along to a game or two with me, but it was something I had never expected of my shy & diminutive daughter.

As I enjoy football, I was happy about this, but had never taken any notice of Girls/Ladies football. The school team was a great introduction to football for Milly, they were decent, won the league and cups. Watching my daughter scoring goals was unexpected.


“I would like to join a proper team”, was the next question posed to me,
At no point had I been a pushy parent and just wanted her to enjoy her football and learn the lessons that come with it.
I started asking around, not knowing anything about the local girls teams. I asked one of my friends who runs a boys team what options there were, kindly he said "she can come and train with my boys if she would like?"  So that was really the start for Milly Rose, a couple of training sessions with the boys each week, she was progressing well. Subsequently, she went to a couple of football camps ran by Nottingham Forest and fully enjoyed them.



Prior to the season starting Milly went to Mansfield Town Football Club which ran a Wildcats Football programme for girls aged 6 to 11. This was great. Summers evenings at One Call Stadium watching my daughter enjoying her football.



A few sessions in, the coach approached me and said that Milly Rose should join a Football Team. “Cool. Ask her not me”, I responded. Yet again, it's not down to me. He asked Milly along with me if she would like to join a club, maybe a feeder club. Milly was up for this.   
Unknown to me, he was the Head Gaffer for Mansfield Town Ladies Football, and a week later he asked if Milly would like to join Mansfield Town Girls U11’S.   Obviously you have to trial for this, so she went and was duly accepted into the team. Personally I was still in shock that she had reached this stage and beyond proud.



If you have not seen the facilities at the RH Academy, which is the Mansfield training facility, it is stunning. The First season Milly played for Mansfield Town, was cut short due to the Covid situation, much to Millys disappointment, but she came away with most improved Player Award at the end of the season.  
Milly Rose currently plays for Mansfield Town Girls U12’s and occasionally plays up a year for Mansfield Town U13’s.
This season had also been cut short due to the middle of December 2020, yet restarted on 11th April 2021. To be fair it was a struggle with Milly getting her back to where she was, more mentally than physically. Being a shy, quiet girl, she had returned back into her shell, as had many other girls, so it has taken them 3 games, all losses, to get back to their game.
Obviously there was no pressure at all on the girls to perform. You just don't know what each child had been through.
So as of today, Milly is fully enjoying her football again. The confidence and smiles are back and most of all, the girls are enjoying their football and being with their friends.  And back to a win.
Girls football has been an absolute breath of fresh air for all the family to be honest. It's not pressured like the boys game and as a family, we only want Milly to enjoy her football, make new friends and keep fit. It's that simple.  
One of the highlights of Millys football, was a chance to train with the Nottingham Forest First Team ladies, at Eastwood Town.



Will Milly continue with her football? Only she knows. It's her choice and we can only be there for her as parents and match day chauffer.



Well done Milly, we are in the exact same position with our daughter, always dragged along to her brothers games and this year joined her 1st 2 teams (boys u7s) all her choice, we in all honesty never realised how good ladies football is and never expected her to enjoy it as much as she is. Good luck Milly and well done mansfield for offering girls the opportunity 👏

Wayne Grant May 10, 2021

And what a cracking player you have turned out to be! Keep doing what your doing Milly, you have the support around you and the desire to go far! Its a pleasure watching you develop starting from wildcats to who you are now, no stopping you! Love from Me and the rest of the Mansfield Town Ladies FC 💙💛💙💛

Monica Bowley May 06, 2021

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