THE POPULARITY of women’s football continues to rise across the country and its growth is there for all to see closer to home after Solihull College & University Centre introduced a second ladies football team for the first time in its history.
The college previously had a ladies football academy, which is linked with Birmingham City Ladies Football Club, and saw players train and compete on a regular basis at a high level.
Over the years the academy team has been extremely successful by securing many cup and league wins and the amount of students attending trials has increased.
Now the college has introduced a development squad which will train twice a week and play in competitive fixtures against other colleges around the country.
Students who take part in the football teams also study full-time in subjects such as Sports Science, Public Services and Science.
“The introduction of a second team at the college is really positive for ladies football and is a brilliant achievement for the College,” said Philip Trilloe, head of school for sport and public services at the college.
“We have students travel from surrounding areas such as Gloucester and Leicester and stay with local host families so they can attend Solihull College and take advantage of the fantastic facilities we have, both academically and to enhance their sporting skills.
“We are all very proud of our football teams and their achievements and we will look to continue to develop both the academy and the development teams.”
Both teams kicked off their campaigns positively, with the academy team beating Neath College 16-0 while the development team secured a 2-2 draw against tough opponents Hartpury College.
Natalie Wilcox, who is the coach of the ladies development team, added: “It is pleasing to have made history with October 7 being the first time Solihull College has fielded two women’s football teams.
“A lengthy process that included trials and an induction day mean that we now have a strong and positive group of players. I am hopeful that we can have a successful first season together.”