Stafford Soccer Mums, a Force To Be Reckoned With.
Stafford Soccer Mums is a remarkable club that has made a significant impact in promoting women’s football in Staffordshire.
Founded in response to the need to encourage more women to participate in the sport, the team has experienced incredible growth since its inception. In this article, we delve into the club’s remarkable rise from grassroots start-up to grassroots super force.
When Will Conaghan met with Staffordshire FA to discuss ways to encourage more women into football, he might not have imagined he would play such a large role in making this happen.
Inspired by that meeting, Will held the first training session for mothers of his girls’ football team in 2016 and since that memorable night, Stafford Soccer Mums FC hasn’t looked back. Such is the buzz about the club around Stafford, they are now training twice a week and have grown to 4 teams competing regularly in local leagues.
Reflecting on the club’s evolution, Conaghan proudly shares, “Since 2016, around 150 women have had at least one session training or playing with Stafford Soccer Mums. We currently have over 50 registered players, ranging from the youngest at 17 to our eldest member, who is nearly 60 years old. We have grown from just a team trying to find fixtures to being an affiliated club in our own right.”
The journey of Stafford Soccer Mums has attracted the attention of National brands, with the club being recruited to take part in promotional campaigns for the FA, Dettol, SkyBet and more recently Starling Bank.
In 2022 the club was asked by the FA to take part in a campaign paying homage to the first female players by recreating the original 1895 British Ladies’ Football Club team photo.
You could be fooled into thinking the success of this club was limited to appearances in high profile campaigns, but in fact it’s on the pitch where perhaps the clubs biggest feats have been achieved.
When asked about his most memorable moments, Will shared, “Our first-ever goal stands out as a significant milestone, considering it’s the only goal we scored that season and we had lost our first few matches by double figures!”
The club wrote themselves into the Staffordshire sporting history books by winning the first ever Mums Play League, before reaching the dizzy heights of European football when they took part in the ‘Old Women’s World Cup’ in France.
Kicking On With Starling Bank
Earlier this year Stafford Soccer Mums Successfully applied to join the Kick On with Starling Bank programme, aimed at providing opportunities for women and girls’ teams to thrive by providing Nike match kit, training equipment and coaching courses.
Speaking about the impact of the Kick On program, Conaghan explains, “The support we received from the programme had a huge impact on a bunch of new players who had never played a game before. They were so proud to be wearing a brand new kit sponsored by a huge company like Starling and it gave everyone a confidence boost. It showed them that they were equal to any other team. It showed these new players that there is a lot of support for teams like ours, and not just the bigger and more experienced clubs.”
Jonathan Green, Co-founder of Gift of Kit, expressed his delight at seeing Stafford Soccer Mums become a part of Kick On, stating, “Stafford Soccer Mums exemplify what Gift of Kit and our partners aim to achieve with these initiatives, to provide opportunities for those who may not have had the chance to play sports as part of a team before”.
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