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Leigh Ramblers YFC and Leigh Junior School have been celebrating the next step in their FA School-Club Link recently after opening up their school training sessions in a club environment at Belfairs Sports Ground thanks to assistance from the Essex County FA and local coach, Howard Mackler.
Ramblers have been working closely with Leigh Junior during numerous sessions operated after school on Friday afternoons by Mackler which have proved increasingly popular. Now the relationship between the two groups has blossomed to the extent a potential new Under-10 girls team could be put together to compete in a league environment within the much celebrated FA Charter Standard club.
The initiative is aimed at girls in school Years Three and Four who are looking to take up the sport, make new friends and stay in shape. It is the latest in a succession of links which have also taken place in Frinton and Walton, Intersports, Little Oakley, Newbury Forest, Snaresbrook and Island Girls and Jays Youth F.C. On this occasion, schools in Leigh-on-Sea received promotional materials and have had the opportunity to sign-up to taster sessions amidst a school-based setting.
Leigh Ramblers were awarded their FA Charter Standard plaque in February at a Southend United FC home game after building a reputation for youth provision, as well as 'Soccability' and girls football. Level Three Coach Mackler, who is also Manager of the Essex Under-18 Representative side, is driving the project and he explained: "The sessions will continue throughout the summer and it is an opportunity for girls to come and play in a friendly and developmental environment."
Emma Burden, Girls' & Women's Football Development Officer for Outer Essex, also thanked all concerned for their efforts, adding: "This is the first time we have delivered a School-Club Link with Leigh Ramblers, which was developed as Southend is one of our target areas where we have to increase participation. Howard is a quality coach who lives in the area who was happy to drive the project forward himself."
The club opened up their sessions on Saturday 27th June, which take place at Belfairs Park, Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 4LR from 10am to 11.30am. Queries should be directed to either Howard Mackler on (07966) 488308 or Emma Burden at the ECFA on (01245) 393076 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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