Coach shocked as girls football idea goes from strength to strength
- Credit: Izzy Barham
A football coach who “found the gap” by setting up her own team just four months ago believes the strong turnout can help develop girls’ sport in the area.
Izzy Barham launched a girls team at Littleport Rangers FC in January after promoting the idea on social media and has been shocked by its progress.
“I was expecting maybe three or four players on my first day, not 26!” she said.
“I didn't expect it to grow so quickly."
Izzy, a coach on Norwich City’s regional development programme, has seen growing numbers at every session she runs having initially targeted older age groups.
“I wanted to cater only to the older age ranges, then I realised there would be more of an interest for the younger girls so I opened it to six to 11-years-old,” said Izzy.
“It was a very big shock seeing as it just started off as an idea and quickly turned into reality.
“I have heard positive feedback from parents and players, so through this and people recommending it, it just gets bigger each week.”
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So far, Izzy is teaching youngsters the basic footballing skills while trying to make the sessions as engaging as possible.
By training in this way, the 17-year-old is hoping to encourage players to sign on with the aim of playing in the Cambridgeshire Women’s and Girls County League next season.
She said: “I think I have found the gap in the area and I hope I can expand it to give the girls a chance which many people haven’t had before locally.”
In time, Izzy wants to coach an older girls' team and provide an opportunity that she found hard to come by when she was younger.
And as Izzy develops her skills off the pitch, she can try to improve the popularity of girls' sport in and around Littleport.
“I want them to walk away buzzing,” she added.
“I know what it feels like to be coached well and to feel like this due to having good coaches myself, so I want to pass it onto my coaching style and give that feeling back.”
You can follow the team on Instagram at: @littleport_lions.
If you are aged six to nine-years-old and interested in joining, email Izzy at: email@example.com.