Girl power on the footy pitch

ROSSVALE GIRLS SOCCER ACADEMY AND UNDER 13'S. LYNN STEWART AND ALLAN BELL WITH GRANT CHEQUE FOR ?3,500.'PHOTO BY EMMA MITCHELL'29/1/11
ROSSVALE GIRLS SOCCER ACADEMY AND UNDER 13'S. LYNN STEWART AND ALLAN BELL WITH GRANT CHEQUE FOR ?3,500.'PHOTO BY EMMA MITCHELL'29/1/11

WOMEN’S football is one of the fastest growing sports on the planet.

Now an ambitious local side are moving full steam ahead with plans to have a female team at each representative age level – from five to late teens.

Rossvale’s girls football academy is believed to be the only one in the west of Scotland – and possibly even the whole country.

It was a major factor in the Bishopbriggs club being awarded a Community Level Quality Mark Award and Community Club Status with the Scottish Football Association – ranking the entire club as one of the top 25 youth football outfits in Scotland.

Allen Bell is coach of the under-13 Rossvale girls’ team and is preparing to take the team up from 7-a-side football to the 11-a-side game at under-15 level next season.

Allen said: “This might be the only set-up covering these age groups in the whole of Scotland and it’s good to get the girls involved at a young age.

“We have around 40 girls involved at the academy already and that’s a healthy number.”

Allen’s under-13 team, which plays a summer season from March to November, recently reached the final of the league cup where they were defeated by Celtic.

Allen said: “We have two or three girls who are very good and could be looking for international call-ups at under-15 level in the future if they keep progressing.”

The Bishopbriggs club are constantly on the look-out for female footballers aged between five and early teens.

Rossvale train and play at the state-of-the-art astrograss complex at Huntershill in Bishopbriggs and the under-13 team participate in a league against the likes of Celtic, Rangers, St Mirren and Glasgow City.

The club have asked for the families of any girl who would be interested in playing football with Rossvale – or coaches interested in coaching girls’ football – to contact club chairman Ian Grey on 0141 586 1019.

Ian said: “We are looking to expand a dedicated girls section and are looking for people to come forward to make this work, players and coaches.”

CHEQUE THIS (above): Rossvale soccer starlets are pictured with coaches Lynn Stewart and Allen Bell, and a cheque for £3,500 from Sportsmatch Scotland, who matched a sponsorship deal from Brian Gray at McAusland Engineering. (K10117)