A Bumper Weekend of Football – 18th, 19th & 20th May 2018.

It’s very rare that we get to play football 3 days on the trot but with 3 events over the weekend, it was a case of being just like those buses that come along all at once!

No Royal Wedding or FA Cup Final celebrations for some of us, just the chance to play with other like minded women and have some fun on the pitch.

First up, on the Friday evening, was a trip to Sussex County FA HQ, in Lancing, for the 3rd Women’s Recreational Football Festival.  The Festivals are held to give women the chance to just come and enjoy playing football, regardless of whether you are new to the game or if you have more experience.  Everyone who participates is rewarded at the end with either a medal (as previously) or a trophy for their team.

Run by Clare Nichols and Sussex County FA, in conjunction with the Sussex County Women & Girls Football League, the Festivals are a great way for either individuals or teams to spend their evening just playing football.  After the first Festival, it was clear that Women’s Recreational Football is now moving forward to include women coming back into the game and also younger women who just want to play recreationally, having not played before.

The COGS’ teams, including beginners and more experienced players.

So. now we have 2 groups for each Festival – one for beginners/improvers and one for more advanced/experienced players (usually Vets).  It works really well and although it isn’t a Competition, by nature of the game, there is always good healthy competition and fun had at the same time!

COGS’ Advanced/Experienced team.
COGS’ Beginners/Improvers’ team.
A bit of COGS’ cheering going on!

Saturday, was a little further afield in Kent.  The FWF (Females Who Football) Herne Bay, who were supported by Kent FA, were celebrating their first year anniversary since setting up their Women’s Rec. team and had organised a Tournament for Beginners.  7 teams arrived at Seaview Caravan Park for what was a great afternoon of fun, friendship and football.  Most of the teams had only been going for a year or so and it was fantastic to see so many women enjoying the opportunity to just be able to play.  The eventual winners were our friends the Canterbury Old Bags White team who overcame their Green team, on penalties, to win the trophy.  It was a beautiful day, so in true COGS’ style we made sure we went to the beach for a drink and some food!  What a lovely place Whitstable is!

COGS & FWF teams.
Team COGS!
A great day for all the teams!
Congratulations to winners, COBS White!

2 down and 1 more to go!  A while ago, we were asked by the AFC Community, if we would be able to go and play against their women who join in with the men’s walking football group.  Unfortunately, not having any teams to play, who are just women, the ladies weren’t able to get involved in any games.  Although, we’re not really used to walking football, it was an honour to be asked and we jumped at the chance to go and meet some more women who love playing!  Putting together an over 50s’ team, we arrived at the Arsenal Hub and were shown to the impressive facilities which included our own changing room! The Duty Manager at The Hub, Justin Pryce, had organised for us to play football for a couple of hours and then go on a Stadium Tour.  The women we met were just as enthusiastic about playing football as us and it ended up that no one walked in the end, we all just ran and had a great time playing quite a few 10 minute games.  Justin and the ladies were extremely hospitable and we had a great afternoon with them all.  Having a Stadium Tour too just topped off what was a brilliant day!  It was also a chance to speak to Justin about AFC Community setting up their own Women’s Recreational Football Group and hopefully this is now going to happen….   Watch this space!

Arrived at the Emirates.
The over 50s COGS’ team (apart from 2!)
Inside The Hub.
Home Changing Room.
Press Conference Room.

After an exciting, but tiring 3 days of playing football, some of us were ready to put our feet up for a few days before the next session!

A great weekend was had by all.