As part of its football community development activities, Dunstable Town FC in partnership with Bedfordshire FA and English Schools FA launched its first female team in the form of the Dunstable Town Lionesses Under 18s Ability Counts side. The team is composed of students from Weatherfield Academy, which is the club’s Community Partner School.
Josh Spavins and Tia Fleming, organised a one-day event at the County FA’s headquarters, where the Lionesses were joined with Challney High School for Girls. They started with training sessions that developed their dribbling, shooting and tackling skills. This was followed by the girls taking part in a number of matches where the players from both teams played together in a mini-three team tournament where they could put into action what they had been practiced.
There was great camaraderie, as new friendships were forged between the two sets of players. They trained and played with great enthusiasm, passion, pride and sporting spirit. There were certainly stars of the future on show with some great skill being shown by a number of the girls from both teams. The players showed how they had learnt to develop their communication, teamwork and tactical skills as the day went on.
Tia Fleming observed that it was: “Great to see so many girls who have never played football before come together to play with and against each other in a good friendly spirit”.
The day ended with the Lionesses and Challney High School playing a match. Challney went 2-0 up but the Lionesses in their first match managed to pull it back with two late goals to earn a well-deserved 2-2 draw.
The Lionesses are looking forward to the forthcoming season and with the help of a Football Foundation Grow the Game grant will be developing and expanding further in the coming months.
Josh Spavins felt it was a highly successful day and stated that: “Bedfordshire FA wants to roll out Ability Counts Girls football throughout the county and is committed to actively encouraging and inviting schools and clubs to get involved, so events like this become a regular activity”