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Jays fly in with new girls team
 Women's Football News 3 Mar 2009
Primary schools John Perry and Five Elms have joined forces to sow the seeds of a brand new girls football team in Dagenham to mark one of the latest successes to come out of the Football Association's School-Club Link scheme, which has so far generated hundreds of new footballers around the County.
Girls in school years one and two in the Barking and Dagenham area have recently been enjoying football taster sessions led by Essex County Football Association Community Coach, Lucy Faraday, as part of the Programme. Once the sessions were over, the girls were encouraged to attend further training with Lucy at Jays Youth's home facility in Dagenham after the eight week schedule saw up to eight girls taking part. It is now hoped they will join the club to help it establish its very first female team.
Jays have already made their new players feel at home and Sharon Brownlie, ECFA Girls' & Women's Development Officer, hopes others will now follow suit. "We are extremely pleased with this project as we've struggled to get girls to come out and join clubs in this area in the past," she highlighted. "Lucy's hard work has been a major factor in the success of both the in-school and club sessions and we hope now that Jays will move their progress up a notch to inspire other new events in the near future."
The FA School-Club Link Programme, which operates under the 3 Lions FC banner, is football's commitment to ensure that all children, whatever their circumstances or abilities, should be able to participate in and enjoy physical education and sport. Victor Baily, Secretary of the existing Jays Youth set-up, was particularly pleased to see the goal of his club to introduce girls football become a reality: "Leaflets were distributed at the two schools Lucy was working at and the end result is that we now have eight girls training with our current teams on a regular basis! We're always encouraging them to bring a mate and it's handy that they are all a similar age so we hope to fit them into a team to enter a league next season."
Jays Youth are still looking for more girls to join their newly established team. Further information on how to link up with them, as well as details on how to get involved in the FA School-Club Link Programme, can be obtained from Sharon on (01245) 393074 or via e-mail at sharon.brownlie@essexfa.com. Additional information is also available via www.essexfa.com.

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