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Leicester City and County Girls Football League History

The Leicester City & County girls’ football league was incorporated into Leicestershire football during the early months of 1995.

A Management Committee was formed in the first instance with:
Gillian Wait (Manager, Leicester City ladies)
Graham Randon (Parent of player)
Hemma Chauhan (Leicester City Council)
John Ball (Leicestershire & Rutland County FA)
Mick Booth (Leicestershire & Rutland County FA)
Ken Good(Leicestershire & Rutland County FA)

Development programmes were introduced to create teams from various organisations and clubs in Leicestershire.

Funding by both Leicester City Council and Leicestershire & Rutland County FA was given as start-up Grants.

Matches commenced as 7 a-side games in September 1995 on St. Margaret’s Pastures Astroturf.

3 age groups were available to clubs who would join the league, i.e. 6 at Under 12, 6 at under 14 and just 2 at under 16.

As the league continued, it was difficult to get playing time at St. Margaret’s Pastures as hockey was also a growing sport.

A second venue was introduced early in 1996 at Guthlaxton School, again on Astroturf, with both grounds being used as teams played their matches, at planned times on a number of pitches.

The 1st seaon had been a success and the Committee changed as Hema Chauhan & John Ball stepped out and Christine Hartley (Parent), Christine Grainger (Treasurer) and Louise Randon (Player) joined the Committee.

By September 1997 the number of games played on Sundays had again out- grown the venues and so grass was introduced at Leicestershire Police HQ (8 pitches at 7-a-side) and Burleigh Community College, Loughborough (2 pitches). There was now 10 teams at Under 12, 8 at Under 14 and 8 at under 16 (the league had almost doubled in 2 years).

In 1998 there were now 5 divisions in 4 age groups and over 30 matches (including friendlies) each Sunday, with managers and coaches at many teams still playing afternoon games in Regional Women’s football. This caused the fixture times to favour these players to get them to their match. A cup competition was introduced in 3 age groups during this season, with the fixtures becoming complicated, like “a tournament every Sunday” in terms of planning and timing to suit the growth of the game.

The 1999/2000 season was the next stage in the growth process. The league had worked with clubs to established matches on club grounds, with the introduction of “home and away fixtures”, which required some ground shares between various teams.

By 2002 Kaye and Gary Smith (parents) had joined Graham Randon and Terry Stone as a small committee, with Gillian Wait leaving girls and women’s football plus the County FA after 7 years.

Some teams had now moved on to the Central Warwickshire and Nott’s Girls Leagues.

Girls and Women’s football continued to grow in the younger groups and by 2004 the Committee were looking for new personnel to take over development and future strength of the female game.

Chris and David Parkin, Sharon Reason (all Asfordby Amateurs) and Marian Hayton (Harborough Town) replaced the Committee and formed a new Management team.

Some long established sides were now the nucleus of the league at many age groups including Leicester City, Oadby & Wigston and Rugby Town Girls.

Others, such as ES Barwell and Loughborough Dynamo ( original members ) worked their way through from Under 14’s to Regional Women’s Premier League on the back of just two sides ( the under 12’s coming later). Broughton Rangers formed 2 years after, also followed a similar path.

The Girls League continues to flourish as new members have built on the early foundations and work of the various efforts of a few individuals, along with Managers, Coaches, Referees and lots of committed Players & Parents. Other Organisations such as County FAs, Councils, Schools & development plans have created the opportunity for Girls to play football.

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