Meet footballing girls making their mark among the boys

Barnham Trojans Pumas
Barnham Trojans Pumas

Barnham Trojans Pumas under-sevens are a team with a difference.

It all started with five little girls – two best friends thrown together by having to watch their brothers play every Sunday and triplets who had watched their dad play since they were born.

The girls talked among their friends and ended up with nine girls who wanted to play, so the task was to find a club and a coach.

Barnham Trojans was the obvious choice as the girls were from Barnham & Walberton schools, so they became Barnham Trojan Pumas.

The problem now was there wasn’t a local girls’ league for under-sevens so they would have to travel each Sunday to games which could be as far away as Horsham and Eastbourne. So the decision was made to enter into the boys’ league.

For the only all-girls side in the league, who are thought to be the youngest girls’ side ever to play in a boys’ league, the games have been tough.

But each week the girls give it their all on the pitch, and the parents do the same on the sidelines, encouraging the girls with uncontrollable excitement when the girls score.

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As it’s development level they don’t publish results but the Pumas haven’t lost all their games.

They train on Saturdays at Ford indoor arena from 9am to 10am with qualified coach Leah, and Claire Oram has taken up the massive task of becoming the manager.

All the parents help out, from putting the goals up to making a cup of tea and a bacon buttie at their Sunday matches.

They have already attended an all-girls tournament in Shoreham and there are more similar events to come, with entry into all-girls tournaments next summer.

In January they will be holding Wildcats drop-in sessions where girls aged five to 12 will be able to do an hour’s training. If anyone is interested in joining the girls’ team or coming forward for next year for another girls’ under-sevens team please contact Claire at claireeoram@googlemail.com