In 2022, Cashes Green FC folded its last remaining men’s team after 74 years of operation.
From an unsuccessful plea for men’s players in Stroud Times, a new direction for the club was dreamt up and the club is back, this time looking for players to join their girls team.
Club coach Clive Eckersall’s interview got him in touch with Laura Gregory at the Cashes Green Community Centre Hub and the pair, along with former Coventry City, Forest Green, Gloucester City and Shortwood winger Gary Marshall and experienced coach Chris Brown, have begun training sessions for girls aged 7-11, with a view to putting two teams into a competitive league at the start of next season.
Eckersall said: “When Laura and I met, we suggested a girl’s team because I’d been coaching girls at Swindon Town and Cainscross Town Council has always wanted us to start one.
“We’d love to take the teams on a journey through to under 16s, it keeps the name of Cashes Green Football Club going and hopefully, it might snowball with more teams, as long as we can make it accessible and affordable, whilst giving girls an opportunity,” he said.
The response to the initial sessions have been extremely positive, the current players even getting to design their own new kit, but a few new faces are needed if the club is to get two teams up and running at the end of the summer.
“We want to get youngsters invested in the community. We tried a few sessions before Christmas, and it was really popular, and we’ve just grown from there. Hopefully, we’re going to start two teams, with current year three to sixes,” said Gregory.
“The girls here are really inspired by what’s been happening with the women’s game in England so it’s a great time to bring in those who want to play football but don’t want to be in a boy’s team. It’s all about making newcomers comfortable and welcome.
“We’re putting this up through funding from the community centre, giving kids activities they might not necessarily be able to access otherwise,” added Gregory.
Eckersall said: “We definitely need more under 12s for next season because we’ve had more under 11s coming through in recent weeks. We’ve got a pitch at Victory Park, a new kit and a sponsor in John Kerry and Sons.”
Training sessions are being held every Sunday from 11-12 at Marling School Sports Hall and all abilities are welcome. You can contact Laura at 07917610367 or Clive at 07774922231 for more information.