Throughout this current pandemic, the Oldham Athletic Girls & Women’s teams have been working hard to stay upbeat, with a lot of positive news to share as a result.
First of all, not only have they been able to retain all of their teams during this challenging time, but they’ve impressively managed to form a new team for the 2020/21 season, bringing the current total to six.
To add to this, they’ve also been able to recruit four new coaches alongside one of the U18’s players, who will be too old for this coming season, and will now be volunteering with the U8’s & 9’s to help with her personal development.
Last season, all of the girls put on some great performances and two players recently received excellent offers:
- Macey McKay has been offered a playing contract with the Manchester United U11’s squad, after training with them for three months this season. She will continue to train with Oldham and will support her team each week from the sidelines.
- Layla Heptonstall has been very fortunate to have been offered two contracts. A playing contract from Blackburn and a training contract from Manchester United. Layla has decided to take Manchester United up on their offer so she can continue to play for Oldham.
On the news, Oldham Athletic Community Trust's Operations and Safeguarding Manager, Wendy Noble is delighted for the girls; "As a team, we are very pleased for the girls and we wish them both well with their new squads. We’re so pleased that they want to continue as long as possible with Oldham Athletic and their teams which shows the great bond with have within the setup.
"We will keep track of their development and continue to support them and their families wherever possible. This will hopefully see more of our girls training and playing with academies in the near future to help raise our profile and continue to improve girls football in the local area."
Oldham Athletic Girls & Women are still looking for one or two players for the 2020/21 campaign from each of the following teams; U8’s, U9’s, U11’s and U18’s. If you are interested in getting involved or know someone that would like to join in, get in contact directly on email with firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout the month of July, all players will look to continue their positive contributions by jogging over 1,000km as a group to raise some vital funds for their teams as well as charity.
Click the link to the JustGiving page if you want to donate: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/oagwfcjogforjuly.
During lockdown, the group have kept in contact to ensure they’re coping as Wendy explains; "The under 8's, 9's and 10's have been doing little sessions alongside the weekly challenges we set for all our age groups and the Saturday night quiz with our U18’s.
"The challenges are linked in with the Community Trust which allows the winner to compete against Chaddy the Owl on social media. Something which has kept the girls' enthusiasm in tough times.
"The girls also got involved to produce a video to acknowledge the fantastic work our NHS have been doing and made a collage doing the heart symbols in support of our key workers. An act of kindness we’re all extremely proud."
Although there’s still uncertainty surrounding when football will return at grassroots level, the coaches and staff already have a plan in place to support the players in every way possible; "We needed to focus on the girls’ fitness, but more importantly their mental wellbeing after being indoors for so long. Being unable to meet in person as a large group we’ve been able to use Zoom instead to connect online the best we can.
"Our overall aim is just to continue to do our best and make sure we provide a setup that is fun and inviting for everyone. We want to get more girls involved and more coaches and volunteers as a result to really help us have a much bigger impact in the community.
"We’re a large family already, and with a few of the U18s coming to the end of their time with us in terms of playing, it has been really encouraging to see that they now want to volunteer behind-the-scenes which benefits everyone in the long-term."
For more information on the setup, click here.
This evening, 19 players across several ages at the club joined a zoom coaching session 🙌⚽️— OAFC Girls & Women (@OAFCWomen) May 15, 2020
The girls have been working on footwork from home and are set to take on @OfficialChaddy in a challenge this week! #oafc pic.twitter.com/OIhKBwDH2U