A soccer school just for the girls

University of Central Lancashire SSE Wildcats The FA Girls' Football Centre Launch: Front row, from left - Cian McEvoy, Kath Mason and Zuleikha Chikh.'Back row, from left - Yolanda Smith, Sophie Offord, Daniel Dyke, Caitlin Walker, Natasha Hunter and Nathan Green.
University of Central Lancashire SSE Wildcats The FA Girls' Football Centre Launch: Front row, from left - Cian McEvoy, Kath Mason and Zuleikha Chikh.'Back row, from left - Yolanda Smith, Sophie Offord, Daniel Dyke, Caitlin Walker, Natasha Hunter and Nathan Green.

Preston’s schoolgirls will have more chance to play football thanks to The Football Association’s new SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football Centre at the University of Central Lancashire’s Sports Arena.

The initiative, for girls aged from five to 11, offers organised sessions in a fun and engaging environment created exclusively for girls.

SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football sessions take place on a weekly basis, either after school or at weekends, and provide a safe environment where girls can try football for the first time.

SSE and the FA hope the initiative will inspire the girls to engage with football, meet new friends, develop fundamental skills, learn new things and create the foundation for a lifelong love of football.

Sessions will run every Saturday morning and UCLan football development officer Cian McEvoy will be involved in running the SSE Wildcats Girls’ Football Centre.

He said: “We are delighted to be a key partner in The FA’s initiative to encourage more girls into football.

“The SSE Wildcats Project will build on the success we’ve already had through the STFPSC to boost sport participation in the community and increase the number of women and girls in Preston who play football.”

It will run as part of the already established and successful Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre which works in a partnership with UCLan Students’ Union.

It has grown from a charity providing football coaching for four to 16-year-olds, including disabled children, into a full functioning club which now has several age group teams.

As well as activities for girls, there will also be ‘Family Sessions’ including Soccercise and walking football.