Ladies’ football goes from strength to strength in Chichester

Chichester City Ladies' first-team squad
Chichester City Ladies' first-team squad

Chichester City Ladies are enjoying a well-earned rest over the Christmas period with record-breaking performances from both sides in the first half of the 2013-14 season.

In total the sides have scored 118 goals and conceded only 23 in all competitions and the firsts and reserves are top of their respective tables.

Some 25 different players have scored for the female side of the club and the cup runs are going strong - with two quarter-finals, one semi-final and the second round proper of the FA Cup to come.

The success has come from a solid foundation of player development and recruitment now entering its fifth season. Coaches Matt Wright and Liam Greenfield also take charge of Chichester College and University’s female sides, which provide a great feed for the squad.

Many of the local area’s best players attend the college to play for the club side and progress on to university in the city to enable them to stay in the Chichester system.

The club have now started a third team who train every Thursday from 5pm at Chichester College. These recreational sessions are open to all females aged 14-plus. The aim of the project is to develop a squad for next season to enter the Sussex division.

The senior sides will reap the development of Chichester City Girls in the coming years as young players work their way through the age groups. Presently the girls have three sides - mini greens (five to nine years), under-11s and under-13s, all doing well in their own competitions.

The girls’ set-up is run by senior players and a group of qualified ‘mum coaches’. The use of female role models has been a huge success and young players are improving at a rapid rate.

The girls’ club have recently moved to the university and meet every Saturday (10am to 11.30am), starting back on January 11.

The evolution of female football in Chichester has been phenomenal over the past five seasons with good-sizes crowds at first-team fixtures.

The club are run entirely by volunteers whose efforts often go unrecognised but are the key factor behind the success.

From coaches and club secretaries to the gateman and the matchday photographer, the club are well-supported in the community and provide a well-disciplined professional environment for all those involved.

For opportunities to get involved or to find out more about female football in Chichester, contact Matt Wright on matt.wright@chichester.ac.uk or visit chichesterladiesfootball.co.uk