Club focus: Growing our Women’s and Girls’ sections as part of our community club

Not too long ago, Fleet Town FC changed its logo to reflect one of its core values: community. For the club this means not just creating strong bonds with the local Fleet community, but also challenging ourselves to be more cohesive and inclusive within the club. We are one of the grassroots football clubs leading the way in bringing together and celebrating all our teams, from boys’ and girls’ minis, through our new pan-disability group, up to the men’s and women’s first teams.

With the public spotlight increasingly on women’s football, Fleet Town FC has been investing in creating a more professional environment for its women and girls to train and play football. As a result we’ve got a really strong platform for our women’s senior side and our girls’ division to grow and develop. 

While Fleet Town has had a girls and ladies section for some time, we’ve really seen a burst of growth in interest and talent in the last few years. Our girls section currently has 12 teams from Under 9 to Under 18, many of them leaders in their respective leagues. Our success is attracting talent from outside the Fleet area and we have players who travel from Winchester, Basingstoke and Guildford and some who are also training at club development centres such as Reading, Chelsea and Southampton.

This is creating a pipeline of talent that will feed our women’s senior team, and ultimately create even more opportunities for girls in football. This season we’ve already seen several talented U16s playing for Fleet Town FC Women.

Our Women’s team is currently playing in the Southern Region Division 1 South, Level 6 of the women’s pyramid. Abbie Burrows, Team Captain says: “I’ve been Captain for a few years now and it’s a great honour. I’ve loved seeing new ladies join the team and how we’ve all been improving through the season, whether that’s in self-confidence or with our football skills. In many ways, grassroots football is women’s football – so many amazing players who have gone on to play for England came from grassroots. I’ve noticed that since the success of the Lionesses, more people want to invest in women’s football and we’ve been lucky to get some new sponsors this season which really helps our team grow.”

Our club Chairman, Caroline Bone, is passionate about Fleet Town and is an advocate for women’s football. Stepping into the Chairman position after a long period that saw several changes in committee management, Caroline invests considerable time in the club and attends every home match for both men and women.

Volunteers are critical to the survival of grassroots football, and Fleet Town is no different. Our female volunteers include our treasurers, Claire Hollister and Claire Ollington, Caroline Grey our clubhouse manager, and Sila Dias, our tea bar manager. We are always looking for new volunteers, so if you’d like to get involved, let us know!

The Women’s senior coaching team also includes Clare Webb, who was brought on board to work with the players on their strength and conditioning. As a player herself through her youth, and with a wealth of experience in health and recovery, she provides a unique voice and perspective for the team.

Clare says: “I’ve been volunteering at Fleet Town FC for just over a year as a fitness coach. Having played football at school and university I was keen to get back into the game in some way. The efforts of our Lionesses through the last few years has also inspired me to do something. I recently completed my Introduction to Football Coaching certificate with the FA. Working with the female team and watching all the other teams we play against, I notice that every coach, referee and lines person is male; there are few female role models for the girls to relate to. I’m not yet sure what role I will have going forward, but I do hope I can continue to support and inspire the team to be their best. “

Finally, we wouldn’t be a community club without the families and friends who support us. We reached out to parents of the girls who play for Fleet Town’s teams, to ask what playing football means to their daughters.

Sarah, a mother of a player for our Under 11 Pumas, said: “My daughter loves playing each week, looks forward to training and matches. Her team is so supportive of one another. It’s a fantastic opportunity for her – and any girl thinking about getting into football for that matter – to build a friendship group of like-minded girls who play for each other and have fun while doing it. It’s such an important skill to be able to foster relationships at different stages of their life, as well as around different activities, and football certainly does that.”

Rosie, a Fleet Town FC volunteer and mother to a player in the girls section said: “Having the opportunity to join a Fleet Town girls team really ignited my daughter Lucy’s passion for playing football. She joined a newly formed U9 group a few years ago and that original team has flourished into four separate teams, currently playing U11 and U12. She really loves the coaches and the chance to play with other talented girls who are all very friendly and supportive. I think it’s important for girls to not just have the option to play, but to have better quality opportunities to play football, along with other sports that have traditionally been seen as for boys. By volunteering at Fleet Town, I believe I’m helping to create a stronger, more successful club for my daughter and other local girls to play for and to support throughout their lives.”

Fleet Town FC is proud to wear #hergametoo on the kits, and we hope to be a home for many more girls and women for a long time to come.

If you’d like to join Fleet Town FC as a player or a volunteer, please visit

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