Women’s football flourishing in north east Fife

The local footballers are delighted with their new training kit which was provided by Specsavers.
The local footballers are delighted with their new training kit which was provided by Specsavers.

It used to be the only woman you could associate with football was former Birmingham City managing director Karren Brady.

At the time she was MD in the ’90s, City were hardly pulling up trees, but gathered attention because of Brady’s involvement in what was a male-dominated industry.

But attitudes have changed and women’s football now finds itself as the fastest growing sport in the world.

The Scottish Football Association is working with communities to drive up participation in the womens’ game and, in St Andrews, that work is paying off.

The St Andrews and East Neuk Community Football Club, an umbrella group for a variety of teams in the area, now has its own girls side.

Olivia Blair is lead coach, and says the girls game is developing in the north east of the Kingdom after the side was created earlier this year.

She said: “The club was started to give girls in the area the chance to play football.

“We don’t have any set teams at the moment, the girls all come in and train and we split them into their age groups and work on the basics like passing and dribbling.

“When we set up, the target was to get 30 girls involved and already we have 28.

“It’s really flourishing.”

The club’s growth mirrors what’s going on elsewhere in other parts of the globe.

“Girls’ football is the fastest growing sport in the world,” added Olivia.

“Other areas have had backing from the SFA to develop girls football and we’re aiming to create that as well within the community football club.”

The team has been boosted even further thanks to the backing of Specsavers who have provided the girls with new training tops.

John Drysdale, chairman at St Andrews and East Neuk Community Football Club, said: “Our over-arching aim is to make it as easy as possible for everyone in the Fife area to participate in the sport of football.

“One focus for the club this season is to recruit more female players.

“The new tracksuit training tops that St Andrews Specsavers has provided will help give the girls a sense of uniformity and pride to be part of the team.

“We would also like to thank the Scottish Football Partnership for awarding us a start-up grant, this has been tremendously helpful.”

For further information on how to get involved in the side, email girls_saencfc@outlook.com.