Future Lionesses? Where to Kick off into Local Football….

Whatever the outcome of today’s Women’s Euro final at Wembley, it’s undoubtedly history in the making for the Lionesses, and in turn for English football. A victory would not only be the first major trophy for the England women’s team, but the first football honour for England since 1966.

Should three lionesses on a shirt inspire your daughter to be a “baller,” or if she already run rings around you in the garden, where do you get the ball rolling, locally?

Applications for the forthcoming grassroots seasons end mid-August, so get in quickly,; here’s our guide to kicking off your daughter’s, or son’s football career.

Starting off young, Little Kicker Sessions are held at Devizes Town Football Club, every Thursday from 5pm – 6pm, suitable for ages 3-6 Years. So, Devizes Town Youth Football Club might be your first port of call for the younger ones, but they’re also looking to add to their U15 squad in particular, but girls of all ages are welcome. Girl’s football is relatively new to Devizes Town FC, and needs some support.

Training at Green Lane, new players are welcome at Bishop’s Cannings Youth FC. Spaces are limited for these mixed teams: Under 11 – Typhoons, Under 12 – Scorpions, Under 14’s – Titans, and Under 11 – Spitfires. The Butterflies and Dragonflies Girls teams are for under 12’s and upcoming year 6 and 7 respectively, but enquire as they have a range of ages available. Fridays at 6pm, are training for girl’s teams.

Chatting to three elite young players from Devizes, who are all signed for Swindon Town, Izzy, Cara and Jess, they felt more needed to be done to promote girl’s only leagues locally in comparison to other areas of the UK. Yet this is mainly down to interest. “Football is the fastest growing women’s sport in the UK,” Jess reminded me, but stressed the importance of opportunities for other women’s sports such as hockey and rugby.

On our way to the County Ground to catch a coach to Wembley, they gave surprising examples of how, occasionally friends had felt “bullied” out of mixed teams by the boys, even at the youngest of ages. They seemed, however, happy with their school programs, after I reminded them girl’s simply didn’t do football in school, in my time! But they wished again for better structure to school leagues. Cara lived in Swindon, started her love of football at camps in Dorcan, whereas Jess joined Bishop’s Cannings, and moved to Melksham, where Izzy started. They both spoke highly of Melksham FC, who have a well-established girl’s structure.

Melksham Town Youth Football – Charter Standard Club has an ever-growing girls section, and is represented at all levels from Wildcats, Under 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16s and Under 18s.

Staying in the Sham, Forest Youth are a newcomer to the game, and have U13 mixed and an U14 girl’s team. Ages start from 4 years, find out more, here.

Derry Hill FC is also widely renowned for supporting girls in football throughout their club, in both our girls and mixed teams. They have girls only teams from Year 3 to Year 11 in the 22/23 season and a Wildcats programme for younger girls.

Jess, who has completed seasons at Reading and Bristol, was keen to point out summer camps were equally important for new starters, as teams, praising Future of Football, which runs out of Bowerhill in Melksham. They start with mixed sessions for ages 3-4, continuing up to all ages. You can book free taster sessions online. Sponsored by women’s sports brand, Miss Kick, Jess added they had an all-girls national foundation running since 2018.

If once you’ve found your suitable local team your offspring is still booting goals past you in rapid succession until your fingers are bent backwards, the next stage is applying for trials at the development centres. Look to Swindon Town FC Community Foundation for the best local development centre, and advice on where to go from there, and if you think you’ve got what it takes, Reading, Bristol and Southampton pick their players from this catchment area.

Swindon girls at Wembly today!

On grassroots level, Cara recommended Highworth and Stratton clubs for girls. The girls are fresh back from a tournament in Barcelona, one of the many perks of playing for Swindon! Swindon FC is one of 72 league clubs with a community programme affiliated to the English Football League Community Trust, delivering sporting and social opportunities to people within their communities.

Founded in 1991, the Foundation delivers football and Multi Sports based programmes within Swindon and the county of Wiltshire, and endeavour to deliver and increase participation for people from 2 – 82 years of age; so even I’m legible, just, if only I could kick a ball in the general direction I intended!

This is the point in time where you’re clocking up the miles and the floor of your banger is filled with those nasty tiny 3G pitch black balls! But you don’t need to travel so far, FC Wiltshire also run a similar development program out of Green Lane, Devizes.

Since Channel 4’s 2017 shocking documentary with Clare Balding, exposing truths behind how the massive popularity of women’s football during the first World War was dwindled when the FA banned it 1921, we understand where this ill-conceived notion that football is a man’s sport came from. Though it was never an act of chauvinism, rather more simply, The FA made no money from it, because the women’s games were fundraising for injured soldiers, only goes to reinforce how totally unjust, not to mention, ironic this old-fashioned and preconceived idea is, and though we’ve some way to go for equality in the ironically dubbed “beautiful game,” we’re at least moving in the right direction.

Today will prove this, as Wembley fills with spectators, young and old, male and female. The girls may’ve wished for better structure in local leagues, but one informed how Marlborough’s girl’s team recently folded, so it’s simply a matter of increasing interest, and this can only be done by the club’s engaging girls and making them feel welcome and appreciated. It’s easy for a club to prioritise boys, as that’s where the profit is, and this must, and so very gradually is, changing.

Will the same level of celebration erupt today, if England win, as it would if the men’s team got even remotely as far the women?! Time will tell; come on Lionesses!


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Furlong Close Celebration

Residents of Furlong Close in Rowde mingled with staff, the new owners, villagers, councillors, and many of the campaigners which made up the Familes and…

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Football Fever; How are we Celebrating?

Everyone has their own ways and methods of supporting England in the Euro finals; hanging flags and bunting, drinking far too much lager and intending to be comatose by 8pm, having loud fun, causing chaos and trashing the place, as is the British way (!), forgetting there’s this silly little deadly pandemic thing, etc. Will it come back to haunt us? Perhaps, but right now the country is gripped with football fever.

Some have decided to use it to political point score, I’m trying my upmost to ignore the gammonites and hypocritical ministers. Some MPs have gone into hiding as they don’t like the gestures of equality, and Richard Branson has gone into space; it’s the gift that keeps giving!

But how are we celebrating around these parts? Who has an original, unique or creative project to share, peaceful even?! Do let us know and I might, just add them here! I said “might.” I don’t want any images of you puking up in the shape of the St George’s flag, thanks. Neither do I want you messaging me after 8pm! Anyhoo, here’s what I’ve found so far…..


Well, Bath’s Da Fuchaman & His Fire Blaze Band are on fire with this song, Kick the ball – Football Is Coming Home (England football song)


Devizes mini-roundabouts have been given a St George’s Cross makeover, by an unknown street/piss artist, (delete as appropriate!) but whoever you are, Red Cross Code Man, good on you, just remember to stop, look and listen.


Devizes poet Gail Foster has an amusing Gareth Southgate sonnet for you, at least it turns her attentions away from Danny Kruger!


The Southgate Inn, Devizes has temporarily changed its name to the Gareth Southgate Inn!


Rowde Parish Councillor John Dalley has decided to reembark on a fundraising mission he did a decade ago, travelling the country on motorbike visiting all 92 football league clubs of England. Thinking bigger, John wants to visit every club in the UK this time. We wish you all the best, John, and we should report more fully on your amazing efforts in due course.

John Dalley, on the road ten years ago.

Salisbury Cathedral admire the detail of their beautiful stained glass windows, noting the Three Lions based in the west window. The vibrant shield dates back to the 1260s and represents Henry III’s coat of arms.


Royston Bolwell says his daughter said, “Italy will win,” as they make the best pizza! I’m not sure about the patriotism, but I like the idea. I told my daughter we’d get a Massimos if Italy win!

Talking Massimos, they’re ready for the European Cup with some apt looking cookies.


Request-artist Jim’ll Paint It painted football coming home with a bucket of vindaloo to find his wife in bed with another sport, as requested by fan Louis Simmons. Which isn’t local I know, but I liked it so much!


There’s a campaign to rename London “Sterlingrad” if England win the euros! You may think it’s a joke, because it probably is, but it’s got near on 3,000 signatures too date!


And a great song from Neville and Sugary Staple, from the Specials: The Lions Roar!


And finally, a message for the England squad from some of the kids at Tyrone Ming’s Academy, Bristol. Lets not forget Tyrone first played for Chippenham.

Wishing the England squad all the best of luck from Devizine!


Oh yeah, and Mickety McSpangle of the Boot Hill All Stars and Sounds of the Wilderness show on West Wilts Radio, wanted me to show off his “massive facking cake” he, or his better half has been busy making; you ledge, mate! Something to be very proud of…


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Song of the Day 19: Macka B

Topical, in view of Mark Little of Bristol Rovers’ social media attack, here’s a year-old message which, idealistically shouldn’t need repeating, but, unfortunately, seems it does.

And who better to deliver it than Wolverhampton’s Christopher MacFarlane, better known to the world as Macka B?

His righteous, yet witty DJ toasting style is often mimicked but never bettered. Since his early days on the Exodus sound system, through the eighties fast-style origination of Fashion Records, of which the late great Smiley Culture bought to mainstream charts, to today’s international recognition, award-winning Macka B never fails to breathe charisma and charm to a subject with intelligent and amusing verse.

The premise of his song is simple, the message is resounding.

And that’s my song for the day. Very good. Carry on….


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