Crusaders hope Lionesses' Euro success will spur girls on

Ely City Crusaders Girls development squad

The Under 14-15 development squad at Ely City Crusaders FC, as the girls setup looks to grow even more. - Credit: Ely City Crusaders FC

A girls’ football club hopes that it can use the recent success of the England Lionesses to its advantage after a successful year. 

The 2022-23 season will be the second year that Ely City Crusaders have had some of its girls’ teams affiliated as county league sides. 

The upcoming campaign will also mark three years since the setup was launched, having first ran a Wildcats (five to 11-years-old) and a girls development programme (11-14). 

“It was important we built on the foundations in place for the girls and this is what I wanted to focus on,” Chris Gibson, youth development coordinator at Ely City Crusaders, said. 

Under 11 and 13s at Ely City Crusaders Girls FC

The under 11 and 13 girls in their new training kit, as the Ely City Crusaders girls setup looks to grow even more. - Credit: Ely City Crusaders FC

“We’ve been so proud of our coaches that have taken the leads in each side and becoming a hub for both competitive Girls Football, but also a development centre in the community.” 

Players at under 10, U12, U14 and U15 level will compete in the Cambridgeshire Girls County League. 

Chris is keen to develop existing talent at the club, as well as attract more youngsters following the triumphs of England at the Women’s European Championships this summer. 

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“We want to see more Wildcats enjoying this era of girls' football at a time where the England Lionesses can inspire with their success on and off the field,” he said. 

“We also want to offer to the community chances for those who haven’t had an opportunity or maybe suffer with release and not seeing sport as an avenue.” 

Ely City Crusaders Under 11 Girls in action

Ely City Crusaders Under 11 Girls in action as the girls' setup looks to continue growing. - Credit: Ely City Crusaders FC

Last year, Chris outlined his plans on growing the girls’ setup at Ely City Crusaders after joining the club in 2020. 

He wants the new season to act as a platform for players to showcase their skills against other teams from across the county. 

And with a development team also being formed, Chris believes now is the time to try and expand the impact that Crusaders have on its local community. 

Ely City Crusaders Girls vs Haddenham Rovers

Ely City Crusaders Girls' development side in action against Haddenham Rovers. - Credit: Ely City Crusaders FC

“We want to start challenging the effort in the girls and ladies' games that those of the hugely respected Haddenham Rovers, Histon Hornets and Cambridge City have,” he added. 

“We hope for more growth and want to make a mark offering these girls chances.” 

Under 14s in action for Ely City Crusaders Girls

Under 14 captain Kaci Gibson strikes for Ely City Crusaders Girls. - Credit: Ely City Crusaders FC

*Ely City Crusaders Girls U15s are looking for players in school years nine and 10 from September to join.  

They are hosting an open session for new and existing players on Sunday, July 31 ahead of pre-season from the first week of August. 

For more details, contact manager Natasha Lane on 07769745394.