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Girls experience the 'Real Thing'!
 Women's Football News 13 Nov 2009
Brisk conditions couldn't oppress the energy on display at the latest Essex County Football Association Girls 4v4 Festival recently, as up to 30 girls aged between six and ten enjoyed their first taste of 'real' football matches held in conjunction with Dagenham-based youth club Jays Girls.
Teams representing Hutton, Writtle Minors and Jays themselves all took part in an enjoyable morning at The Leys in Ballards Road, including coaches, managers and supporters who participated in mini games staged on smaller pitches with 'Pug' goals. After the event, every player received a certificate of attendance as well as ECFA Goody Bags containing certificates, pens, rubbers, Umbro socks and hair bands.
ECFA Girls' & Women's Development Officer, Sharon Brownlie, was enthused with the latest contribution to the Association's targets between 2008-12. "We were extremely pleased with the turnout on what was a very cold day and we look forward to seeing the girls and their teams at future events," she explained. "We're working hard both in Essex and its surrounding Metropolitan Boroughs to develop girls' football at the bottom end in the hope this will mean clubs are able to bring in new girls' teams year after year. Our 4v4 festivals are held in non-competitive environments where the ethos is directed towards the girls having fun whilst learning the game in a relaxed environment."
Hosts Jays embarked on their journey into female football just last year when they worked with the ECFA in delivering a School-Club Link programme in local primary schools. Throughout the past twelve months the club has taken over the baton and offers weekly training sessions for the youngsters as well as attending festivals and playing friendlies. The team is affiliated to the ECFA and aims to play league football next season.
For more information on local 4v4 festivals and how you can get involved as an individual or as a team in Essex' five London Boroughs, including local 'Get Back Into' sessions, please contact Sharon on (01245) 393074 or e-mail sharon.brownlie@essexfa.com. For Outer Essex, contact Emma Burden on (01245) 393076 or e-mail emma.burden@essexfa.com. Further details on female football can also be found from the Essex County Football Association Website at www.essexfa.com.

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