On a rare Sunny Saturday this month we had our first 11-aside match. We turned up with two full sides and subs! We brought along our U14 and U16* squads.
Our opposition was KickStart FC, a wonderful football club, with roots similar to ours. Nigel, the Manager said Kickstart was set up to provide more opportunities for girls in football. Now he’s got 246 girls. Something we dream of achieving one day!
First to play were the U14’s who managed to get lost on their way to the pitch. Luckily we had enough to start. Since it was our first 11-aside game it took us a while to figure out positions. It was a lot of good chaos. And a lot of hand balls. Amara won woman of the match for us, as she naturally found her place as a holding midfielder, directing play.
After losing 5-3 in our first match, the older girls took to the pitch. More experienced and very exciting after watching the U14’s, they started off very strong. Tamia came so close to scoring *several* times. Next time she will for sure.
Woman of the match for the U16’s was Marigona, our fearless goal keeper who isn’t even a goalkeeper. She was hammered with shots from Kickstart’s very strong strikers but did so well in saving us on many occasions. We didn’t manage to score but did play some really nice football.
Big thanks to Nigel and the Kickstart FC crew for a brilliant day of girls football. As we were saying goodbye, Nigel said to us, “Once your girls figure out what they are and aren’t allow to get away with in football, you’ll have a really strong side”. We took this as a massive compliment.
We’re also very grateful to Hampstead Women’s FC who leant us a kit under very short notice. Yes, we are Hackney Laces and we wore another team’s strip because we don’t have our own yet. Kit sharing: it’s good for the environment. That’s how we roll.
*We had a few 16 and 17 year olds play.