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Link success at Hullbridge
 Women's Football News 23 Jul 2009
Football coach Peter Hanrahan has revealed girls from Hullbridge Sports Youth FC and Riverside Junior School can't wait for their next taste of soccer fun having been introduced to the game via an Essex County FA School-Club Link which has recently reached a successful conclusion.
Hanrahan, who led the taster sessions within the FA Charter Standard Development Club, assisted as Hullbridge worked alongside local coaching company ASSA (Active Soccer and Sport Academy) to deliver an after-school club which led to twelve children participating in new sessions on Saturday mornings from Sports' Lower Road base. The weekend coaching was also taken by female Level Two coach Rachael O'Brien, a graduate of the E.C.F.A. female-only course last year.
"This was the first time Hullbridge have been able to provide coaching for our village school as an after-school activity," explained Hanrahan. "The sessions were exclusively for Years Three to Six and part of our development plan was to create a girls' section. Now a large proportion of those we coached at Riverside School are coming to the club every Saturday and we're hoping to find others so we can form a couple of teams."
Their first test arrived when they were handed the opportunity to put the skills they had gained into practice after being invited by local club Hawkwell Athletic to participate in a friendly 4v4 festival. Hanrahan admitted he was slightly nervous for them, but ultimately satisfied, recalling: "We were a little apprehensive as this was the girls' very first 'real' game! But they all played very well and really enjoyed themselves. As soon as they came off the pitch they were asking when the next match was!"
Having come through that challenge, Peter explained they have now set themselves some fresh targets going forward, including the development of their coaching workforce to further improve the girls' talents. He added: "We're both pleased and proud to have been able to achieve this for the girls and the club. Our coaches worked in partnership with Neville Hickton and Danny Heath from A.S.S.A. and this gave our own coaches experience not only in working with girls but also other experienced coaches."
The girls' coaching sessions continue to run on a Saturday morning at Hullbridge Sports & Social Club, Lower Road, from 9.30-10.30am and any girls aged eight to eleven wishing to come along should contact Peter Hanrahan on (01702) 232710. Alternatively, more information can be gathered from Peter Hanrahan via e-mail at peter@hanrahan6.wanadoo.co.uk. Details on the School-Club Link scheme can also be found at www.essexfa.com.

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