Lancashire’s police women are aiming to shoot their way into the history books by sealing cup glory in their début season.
Lancashire Constabulary has launched its first ever women’s football team and they are hoping to lift the cup when they compete in the National Police Ladies Football competition at Chester in April.
And one lady who has been waiting for this day to arrive is avid footballer and new team captain, PC Rachel Lee.
She said: “I have been a police officer for 10 years and I have always played football.
“Since joining the police, I have hoped that we would one day have a ladies football team, but to represent the new side and to be asked to be the captain is fantastic.
“I am very proud and look forward to leading the team in Chester.”
Det Insp Martin Kane set up the side and was overwhelmed by the amount of women eager to get their boots on.
He said: “In January I received an invite from the organisers. We didn’t have a ladies team at the time so I put a message on our internal internet site to gauge interest.
“Within a couple of days I had over 30 girls who registered their interest and in early February we had our first training session and 22 players turned up.”
The men’s first team has won the national cup three times and the men’s veterans have bagged the national trophy six times.
But manager DI Kane thinks the women can do one better by lifting the trophy in their first competitive tournament.
He said: “The men beat Staffordshire 5-2 in the national quarter finals.
“There was obviously a bit of banter in the changing rooms about having to live up to the success, but I would be happy with our new team bringing back the ladies’ national cup to Lancashire.”
Ashbridge Independent School and Nursey, Lindle Lane, Preston, provided the new kit and DI Kane believes they wouldn’t be on the road to glory without them.
He said: “I entered the tournament but needed funding for the team kit and this was very kindly provided by Ashbridge Independent School and Nursery. I cannot thank them enough for their support.
“We are now fully focussed on the tournament, training regularly and we won our first competitive match on Friday, beating Penwortham Ladies 4-3.
“I am planning to sustain the enthusiasm with maybe an inter-department ladies seven-a-side tournament over the summer months.”
Chief Constable Mr Finnigan echoed DI Kane’s sentiments and wished the women luck.
He said: “I am really pleased that Lancashire now have a Ladies Police Football Team.
“I am very grateful to Mrs Sharples and Grace Carr from Ashbridge Independent School and Nursery for kindly sponsoring the ladies team kit.
“I appreciate all the hard work and preparation the team are doing ahead of the national tournament in April and wish them good luck.”