Winklebury Wizards launch new women’s football team in Basingstoke

A NEW women’s football team in Basingstoke celebrates after being sponsored by a family hairdresser to buy a new kit.

Hoping to attract new players thanks to the success of the England women’s football team at the Euros, Winklebury Wizards Football Club have launched a new women’s under-10 team.

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The team, which meets at the Hampshire FA ground in Winklebury, have been sponsored by Hair Beauty in Oakley to purchase their kit.

Guy Morgan, the team’s coach, said that although Winklebury Wizards have been around for over 20 years, there has only ever been one women’s under-14 team.

The father, whose eight-year-old daughter-in-law loves playing football, wanted to start a new girls’ team to bring the sport to a wider age range of girls in the city.

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So far 12 girls have joined the team and it is hoped that more will be inspired to sign up following the success of the England squad this summer.

Guy said: “After the Euros it’s great to have a second team and we’ll be playing in the Hampshire Girls Youth League which has four divisions. So there are around 40 teams.

Guy believes Hampshire is leading the way in women’s football and he hopes schools and parents will encourage girls to play.

“Girls didn’t play football years ago,” he said, adding: “I think Hampshire are really pushing it, as a county we are one of the main defenders in football feminine.

“I have been in women’s football for two years now at grassroots level. We started at Down Grange and moved to Winklebury and over those two years I’ve seen it grow from six or seven girls to now having teams across Basingstoke.

The 38-year-old, who is the operations manager of a housing association, said he hoped one day girls playing football would become the norm, adding: ‘Slowly and surely we are moving towards the normality. So boys watch girls play football and that’s normal. The more we can do as a club and as a city to make girls feel celebrated when they get involved and give them the confidence to keep going. We try to get them started as young as possible, so for them it’s still the norm. Everyone – parents, teachers and coaches – we all need to do our part. »

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