Bourne Blades are an inclusive, community club who aim to enable as many children and adults as possible to play football with their friends for a local team.
The club run 32 junior squads covering every age group from under-sevens through to under-18s, along with two men’s veterans’ teams and two women’s recreational teams.
Thanks to a large group of volunteer coaches and club officials, more than 400 Bourne Blades players participate in training and matches every week of the season.
Although the club have traditionally invited girls to play in mixed teams, the club now have a strong and growing female presence, not only through their girls’ and newly-established women’s teams, but also in its coaching team.
Four years ago, Bourne Blades introduced their first girls’ team. Now this team, many of whom were in the original under-nines side, are moving up to the under-14 age group and playing 11-a-side football next season. To secure the future of this team, more players are needed.
“Being our eldest girls’ youth team, they are an important part of our club’s female player pathway, as well as to our club’s most recent history,” said Bourne Blades chairman Jason Hadden.
“We are looking to recruit girls who are keen to come and play for this enthusiastic team, even if they are new to the sport. Experience isn’t necessarily a barrier – if they’re keen to play, we’d love girls to come and give it a try.
“We really want this cohort to go all the way up through the club, paving the way for the younger age groups to follow. At age 16 they even have the option to join the women’s team should they wish to. We might even have two generations playing football together, which would be amazing.”
Malin Butcher and Sophie Lamb are mothers of girls in the team. They also set up the club’s women’s teams, and remain passionate about supporting their daughters as well as encouraging females playing across all age groups in the club.
“They have such fun playing together and, to be honest, the parents rather enjoy the social side of it too,” said Malin.
Girls going into Years 8 and 9 this September are welcome to join the under-14s.
The team play in the Surrey County Women’s and Girls’ Football League, with matches on Sunday mornings. The girls train on Monday evenings at Frensham Heights School from 6pm to 7pm, from September until April. They train on grass pitches from May.