Football has always been considered a male-dominated sport, but over the last decade, the UK has seen a significant growth in young girls football. Gone are the days when football was not considered a sport for girls and was thought to be too rough and physical. Today, there are various initiatives taken by the government, the FA and several clubs to encourage young girls to take an interest in football and develop their skills.

One of the reasons for this positive development is the FA’s initiative, ‘The Gameplan for Growth.’ This initiative, launched in 2017, focused on increasing the number of women and girls involved at all levels of the sport, including playing, coaching, and officiating. The FA has also introduced the ‘Wildcats’ program, specifically designed to introduce girls aged 5-11 to football through fun and interactive coaching sessions. This program has been successful in engaging young girls and breaking down the barriers that had previously existed.

The growth in young girls football has also been fuelled by the success of the England Women’s national football team. The Lionesses’ performance in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, where they reached the semi-finals, united the nation and inspired young girls to take up football. The team’s star players, such as Lucy Bronze, Nikita Parris, and Ellen White, have become role models for young girls, boosting the sport's popularity.

Several football clubs have also taken positive steps to promote young girls football. Liverpool FC, for example, launched a program called ‘LFC Foundation,’ which aimed to increase participation in football for young girls and boys in the Merseyside area. The program provided weekly coaching sessions for girls aged between 5-11, and free support to inspire young girls to continue their footballing journey.

Furthermore, the rise of social media has allowed young girls to interact with their favorite players and teams, strengthening their connection to the sport. Platforms such as TikTok and Instagram have provided young girls with a glimpse into the lives of footballers, making it more relatable and inspiring.

The positive growth in young girls football in the UK has been remarkable, and it’s only the beginning. The FA, the government, and football clubs must continue to support and encourage young girls in the sport, creating more opportunities to develop their skills and make their dreams a reality. The future looks bright for young girls interested in football, and it’s an exciting time to be a part of the sport's growth and development.


By John Evans

Jeffrey F