The Story Of Kirk Deighton Rangers

Posted on: August 1st, 2018 | by Jamie Knight | No Comments

“Daddy, can girls play football?” I crouched down and looked my 9-year old daughter in the eyes, gently pointed to her and said “This girl can. Shall we make it happen?” At the time Kirk Deighton Rangers JFC was just starting a girls section and we wandered down to join a group of wide eyed football newbies starting to learn how to play our beautiful game the female way.

The fun, friendly & inclusive ethos of this FA Charter Standard Club was perfect for my daughter. In less than a season we had recruited enough girls to enter the league in not one but two age groups. Finding sponsors and ordering kit was a new one for me but Pendle made the process very simple and the girls were extremely proud to be team mates bonded together by their shiny new strip. It was our older girls who made club history and played our first competitive girls match. We all eagerly watched but the harsh realities of league football immediately hit home as they came in at half-time 14-0 down! That first league season saw some wins and some losses for both teams and these pioneers encouraged more and more girls to join our community club.

We now have over 50 girls (from eleven different schools) at the club in four age groups. They are all developing their footballing skills, keeping fit and healthy and building their confidence, while making new friends and forging a tremendous team spirit. The girls have had their picture taken with the Women’s FA Cup, watched England Lionessess under floodlights, been ball girls at Doncaster Belles (and had a kick-about at a football league stadium), received a good luck message on a signed shirt from an England international and been on a tour of Wembley Stadium. Football wise we have had the heartache of losing on penalties in four straight gala finals which resulted in lots of tears (and that was just the coaches!), but the girls keep picking themselves up and trying again.

Last season they reaped the reward of all their hard work as our U13s became the club’s first female league champions and reached the semi-final of the County Cup and were invited to represent York at the ACES Nationals at Nottingham University. My now teenage daughter unequivocally has the answer to her question of four years ago. Now my daughter is the one who, when helping train the newbies, reassuringly points her index finger to their chest, looks them in the eye and tells the younger girl, “Football. This girl can.” Girls football is flourishing. Thanks to companies like Pendle who support this virtuous cycle.”

Nic Streatfield – U14’s Girls Manager

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