Thorpe St Andrew

Boom time for the club with a fun-filled formula

Just Regional
Jun 10, 2024 3 mins read

Business is booming at Thorpe St Andrew Ladies and Girls FC and youngsters of all ages are being invited to come and play soccer with a smile.

“The popularity of girls and ladies football at our club is at an all-time high. Due to more attention and resources finally being given to the women’s game, this has created a great platform to get individuals involved which we haven’t had before,” said Tayla Woodhouse, a coach, manager and player.

The success of the England Lionesses and Women’s Super League has been a huge factor in the growth explosion and created a grassroots ripple effect as children look to follow in the footsteps of their heroes – including Norfolk’s England and Manchester City ace Lauren Hemp.

“With commercial opportunities and televised games becoming the norm, girls feel more comfortable and it’s been normalised that they can play football too. From personal experience growing up, there have always been negative views especially from fellow male classmates and on social media that I played football. However, now due to the growth of the women’s game, and speaking to younger players within the club these experiences are more rare which is a really positive step forwards,” commented Tayla.

There is no limit on the number of girls and women welcome to join the club –  it really is a case of the more the merrier.

“We are always looking to grow and give every woman and girl the opportunity to learn and play football, said Tayla, who started at Thorpe St Andrew aged nine, and now plays for the ladies team.

She has also been heavily involved in coaching in managing and is working on the girls development strand, which will lead to more new teams.

The club started in 2008 as Thorpe United Ladies and Girls FC, becoming Thorpe St Andrew Ladies and Girls in 2020. Thanks to steady growth there are now seven competitive teams alongside a non-competitive Wildcats fun scheme. New recruits are welcome to join training sessions for young girls in school years 3, 4 and 5 at the FDC Open Academy in Salhouse Road (NR7 9DL). The sessions on Saturday mornings (9am-10am) will prepare the girls for competitive football in September.

“As a club we work together and as one. Players from the Ladies manage and coach some of our youth teams, and we have an amazing group of volunteers ensuring everything runs as smoothly as possible so all can go out on the pitch and play football with a smile on their faces, which is the most important thing to us,” said Tayla.

During the league season, which ended recently, home games in the Norfolk Women’s and Girls League are played at Sir George Morse Park, in Laundry Lane. The Youth Teams play on Saturday mornings, and the Ladies on Sunday afternoons.

“As well as players we are also always looking for new volunteers to be part of our club either in coaching roles or other positions, so please don’t hesitate to reach out,” said Tayla.

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