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Are Goole Town Girls about to discover another England footballing star?

After shining the spotlight on Goole AFC in our September issue – including an interview with club chairman Steve Shorthouse – it only seemed fair to focus our attentions towards Goole’s female footballing contingent this month, as we chat to Kevin Shipp about the soccer activities of Goole Town Girls

Having introduced the girls of Goole to football over 20 years ago, Goole Town Girls is set to continue its championing of women’s football as they prepare to launch a new six-month course aimed at girls aged 7-10 who are complete beginners to the sport.

Based on Howden School’s 3G pitch from October onwards, the course will embrace all of the beautiful game’s techniques, with the hope that it prepares its participants to play league football next year – taking after the club’s U12 team. We spoke to Goole Town Girls coach, Kevin Shipp, about the Howden-based training venture, and what the future may hold for the club’s most exceptional footballers.

Could you shed some light on the history of Goole Town Girls?
We were formed in the early 1990s with the name Goole Town Juniors, as we were a boy’s club operating in the Hull Sunday Boys League at that time. The name change came at the turn of the century when we became Goole Town Girls. We were losing a lot of promising boys to league club academies, making it difficult to maintain teams, but more so because when it came to the girls, no such academies existed, though in recent years we have lost talented female players in the same way. Most notably, Naomi Chadwick, who went on to play for England.

What do you consider the club’s greatest achievements over the years?
Both the boys and girls clubs have outstanding records, having won several leagues and cups over the years. And for some years, we ran a ladies team to great success, as they won promotion to the North East Regional League. The problem we’ve had along the way is that, when the girls reach the age of 16, even the keenest members are attracted to the bright lights of Doncaster, and they find they can’t keep up their football careers. This is a great shame as many girls and ladies are lost to the game, which is not to mention the girls who do want to continue playing but no longer have a team.

What were the motivations behind the launch of this new course?
The motivation behind our Howden project is simply to give the girls in Howden a chance to take up the game on their doorstep, especially during the winter nights when they are largely without anything to do. If it’s a success, we could enter teams into either the East Riding Girls or the City of York Girls Leagues, or maybe even both! The fact that we helped a local girl to get into the England team was a proud moment for us, and despite all the recruitment difficulties, we would like to give the girls of Howden every chance to learn the game and progress up the ladder of success.

Goole Town Girls’ new training programme, aimed at beginners aged 7-10, began on Thursday 5th October at Howden School (Derwent Road, DN14 7AL). For more information, please contact Kevin by telephone on 07751 052984, or by email at kevinshipp35@gmail.com

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