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Girls only scheme

Project Info

Project Description

Our girls-only football scheme started life in September 2008, when just three girls, two of them sisters, turned up to our very first session in Brixton. Since then we have steadily developed girls’ football in Lambeth both on and off the pitch. In partnership with Lambeth Council we have run the Lambeth Secondary Schools Girls’ League and tournaments for girls in years 7 to 10 every year since 2010. We also select and manage the Lambeth London Youth Games squad every year.

Our girls have won a number of tournaments down the years, including the Streetgames 5s Festival in 2013 and 2014, which saw our winning teams go on to compete in the national finals at St. George’s Park. Current Liverpool and England U21 striker, Rinsola Babajide, was a member of the 2014 team. Our U16s team achieved the London County Saturday Youth League and Cup double in 2018. A number of young women have also achieved their F.A Level-1 and -2 coaching qualifications with us via our participant-volunteer pathway.

Players of all abilities between the ages of 11 and 16 are welcome to join in for two hours of coaching and competitive 6-a-side games every Saturday morning throughout the year. We have players who have barely kicked a ball before, and others who’ve trained with the female teams at Chelsea, Palace, AFC Wimbledon and Millwall. And in between, there’s room for everyone. For those looking to progress, we can provide a direct exit route into SMFC U16s team (2020-21) and the Sutton United FC Academy. As well as playing football, our members have enjoyed free trips out, including visits to the theatre, Us Girls events, Wembley and the Emirates’ Stadium.

In 2021, we established a player pathway into the Sutton United F.C Academy, which offers SMP players aged 16 the opportunity of a BTEC qualification in Sport at either Level 2 or 3, alongside full-time football training and matches.

Our current coaching team consists of 4 young women who all came through the scheme as participants. Our lead coach started playing with us aged 14, went on to gain her F.A Level-1 & -2 coaching badges with us and currently plays semi-pro football for Whyteleafe FC. Want to emulate her? Then come on down!

Girls only football coaching & 6-a-side

When: Every Saturday except summer holiday period – 10.00am – 12.00pm

Where: Ferndale Community Sports Centre, 30 Nursery Road, Brixton SW9 8PB

Ages: 11 – 16

Cost: Free

Please note: Astroturf pitches – no studs or blades allowed! Currently no changing rooms or toilets due to Covid restrictions.

“…I would like to thank St. Matthew’s for the support you have given my daughter.
She originally joined girls-only football on Saturday morning to improve her team work/play skills and she ended up getting much more than just that. She got more confidence in dealing with others and has learnt to know and appreciate herself as well as others. Finally and most importantly she now belongs to a group she is proud of… The girls offer her support and comfort and she loves it, particularly knowing that she does not have aunties or big sisters in the UK. Thank you so much again.” Parent testimony

Coming to St. Matthew’s has really helped me as a person because playing here is like a dream. In Madrid, I used to play football, but on the streets, so never really in a team. Here, I am playing with other girls, as a team. It’s really nice. I love it.” Kelfra, aged 14.