Here come the girls '“ Staveley recruiting for new teams
Staveley Miners Welfare Ladies are hoping to start a junior section that could eventually rival the boys set-up at Inkersall Road.
The non-league club is reknowned for its successful youth system and it could be set to get even better.
Cheryl Smith, a player for the club’s ladies team, is working hard to bring in youngsters for two new junior teams.
The 37-year-old, who only took up the sport three years ago, completed her coaching badges last October.
“I’m afraid I started my interest in playing football far too late on,” she said.
“I was always interested in watching, but I only started to play at 34.
“I’m thoroughly enjoying it, and will keep playing as long as my fitness will allow.
“There wasn’t the opportunity for girls to develop a passion and skillset unless you already had that natural ability, when I was at school.
“I attended a school tournament at Springwell in October 2015 and the amount of young girls who turned out was quite astounding.
“This gave me the inspiration to look at developing the first junior girls team for Staveley.”
Staveley has comprehensive provision for boys with teams ranging from Under 7 right up to Under 18s.
Smith and fellow Staveley player Kirsty Woolley had looked at starting with one girls team, but there has been interest from 10-year-olds through to 13-year-olds.
She said: “The response we are receiving is great but has been spread between the ages of 10 to 13.
“Not wanting to turn any enthusiastic girls away, we are desperately trying to recruit for two teams now, an Under 12s and an Under 14.
“We want to accomodate the girls as best we can.
“The idea is that players in the ladies team will get interested in taking their coaching badges and can help with the junior teams.
“They’ve got excellent facilities and a great set-up for the boys and now we want to start the same for the girls.”
The ultimate aim is to progress young girls from the youth teams into the senior side.
Smith added: “We want to start them young and take them through up into the ladies team eventually.
“That’s our future plan.”
Staveley have set up a Facebook page and Twitter account to try and promote the new girls teams’ and hope to capture the imagination of local youngsters.
“It’s enjoyable, it promotes fitness and well being and it’s nice for them to have another social circle, outside of school,” said Smith.
“We have girls coming from all over Chesterfield, meeting others they would never have crossed paths with.”
Training takes place currently on Saturdays at 10am at the Staveley ground but when fixtures begin, training will move to a Tuesday night from 6pm to 7pm.
Anyone interested in the junior teams can find the club at www.facebook.com/staveleyjuniorgirlsfc or call Cheryl Smith on 0773 9911 981.
The ladies team are also on the lookout for new players. Contact manager Teresa Oliver on 07854 224932.