Rochdale AFC’s Community Trust has announced an increase in the number of girls joining their ever growing squads.
After starting off with just one age group last year, the Trust has created a further four teams for the 2015-16 season. Due to the demand, they now have five teams operating in total - under 9s, under 10s, under 12s, under 13s and under 16s – with over 60 girls training and playing in structured football.
This has been made possible thanks to funding from the FA and Sport England, through the ‘Football Female Development’ programme.
The programme, which was launched last year and has since been extended for a further year, has allowed Community Trusts such as Dale’s to deliver season-long coaching programmes.
Last week, first team Captain Jamie Allen visited the five teams to wish them the best of luck for the forthcoming season.
The midfielder has been appointed as Rochdale AFC’s Ladies Ambassador as part of the Trust’s commitment to the Professional Footballer’s Association (PFA).
The PFA put a substantial amount of money into the Football League Trust to help engage local communities around England, through embracing Premiership and Football League Clubs.
Dennis Leman, from the PFA, was on hand to witness a successful evening with Jamie, who answered numerous questions from the girls, as well as having photos taken with every squad.
Trust Manager, Keith Hicks, commented: “To see such a large increase in the number of players in such a short space of time is magnificent.
“It has been over five years since the junior section of the Rochdale AFC Ladies set-up disbanded, so there has been a lack of provision in the local area for girls to play.
“The funding has ensured we’ve been able to resurrect that, and I’m delighted that we’re providing an opportunity for girls to get involved in the sport across a range of age groups.”