#OGWC19 – “Old Girls” World Cup 2019 – France

What a Day and Night!  The Story of the Old Girls’ “World Cup” 2019 – Soissons, France – 21st June 2019.

Not really sure where to start!  Please read until the end as it was such an inspirational day and night….

A day and night to remember! 

Just over a year ago an email was sent to Polly Bancroft at UEFA and Rachel Pavlou at the FA with a “light bulb” moment…..

“Dear Polly/Pav,

I’ve had a lightbulb moment.

“Old Girls” World Cup in France 2019!

Kind regards,

Carol Bates.

The reply was “That would be amazing!” and “What a great idea!”.

That was all that was needed to get the ball rolling!

Drafting in Jo Treharne, from the Canterbury Old Bags, the next day was a given.  Since setting up her group of amazing women there has been a trusted friendship ever since.  Her reply was “I know a good campsite we can use!”  From that day onwards, the plans were being hatched and ideas being implemented for what would be the Inaugural Old Girls’ “World Cup”.  Siona Murray, the driving force behind Women’s Recreational Football, in Wales, was also drafted in to coordinate the effort of getting the Wales’ contingent involved.

After rather a lot of emails to and from France (with the help of translator Stephanie Turner & Google Translate!) we arranged a visit to a town called Soissons, which is about 80 minutes North East of Paris, to meet with the Mayor and the Sports’ Representatives at the Council/Town Hall to get authorisation to use the Jean Pierre Papin Municipal Stadium, where Soissons FC play.

In January 2019, on a very snowy day, we visited Soissons and it was agreed that we could use the Stadium to host the #OGWC19.  The help and enthusiasm when we visited, continued throughout the year and a great partnership was formed.

Once everything had been agreed, we released the date (21/06/19 – FIFAWWC Rest Day) with the other details and waited……..

What a great response we had from around the country, as well as from Wales and the USA.

Meeting after meeting was held as to how the day would run, as it was felt that Women’s Recreational Football has such a wide range of abilities and we wanted to include everyone.  It was decided that the priority was to get women playing regardless of ability, so 2 events were organised.

The Day Festival would be a participation only Festival.  No winners’ trophies just medals for everyone. There would be an Award for the “Best All Round” Team and Player for each group which would be decided by each group’s referee.  The Awards would take into consideration the friendliness, fun, helpfulness and general good spirit of the team/player.

The evening would then be a competition event and therefore would be played as the #OGWC19 Cup Competition.  This would comprise of semi-finals between 4 teams/countries – England, Wales, RoW & the USA and a Final.  Players would be selected by Managers for each country and be given 1 of the 16 shirts which were available for each country.  As there were so many English players there would be a play-off game to decide which England team made it though to the semi-final draw. Twenty teams were entered into the Day Festival from all over England, Wales and some players from the USA, culminating in some 200 women being involved.  From those 200 women, only 64 would be selected to play for their countries in the evening.  The following teams entered the Day Festival and were allocated their own FIFAWWC countries:

After a second visit to Soissons, in May, everything else was put in place ready for the 21st June 2019.

Thurs 20th June.

To get to know all the teams who entered, a Beach Bar Meet Up was held on the campsite the night before the #OGWC19.

Most teams opted to stay at the Berny Riviere campsite in Sur de Aisne, which was very accommodating and a brilliant place to stay.  We were also joined by a David and Kieran from the BBC who were producing a piece for the BBC South East Inside Out programme.  After the filming, the drinks flowed and a good night was had by all!

Friday 21st June – The Big Day – #OGWC19.

The weather was perfect, the facilities were first class and the pitch, which had been nurtured for a long while, was looking in pristine condition.  We were lucky enough to have Angus Coull from BalaSport UK with us, who had been kind enough to donate 8 of their Fairtrade BALA match balls, especially for the Event.  We also had Jade Harker of Jade Harker Photography with us to capture the essence of what the #OGWC19 was all about, which she did perfectly!

BalaSport UK (Angus) has written a fantastic account of the event on the BalaSport website.  It’s well worth reading, with exclusive videos of the day!  Click here:  https://www.balasport.co.uk/old-girls-play-fair-at-their-own-world-cup/

Four groups, with 5 teams each, played 7v7 matches during the day.  It was friendly, good fun and the camaraderie was there for all to see.  200 women, the majority of whom had only started playing in the last few years, were enjoying each other’s company and having fun playing football together.  Women who had never played in a competitive game, women from 30 to over 60, a few younger women who were new to playing and every one of them grateful and humble that they got to play in France at the Old Girls’ “World Cup”.  It was a day that was extremely special to be a part of.

We had VIP visits from the Mayor of Soissons, Alain Cremont, Deputy Mayor, Frederic Varnier and we were grateful for the visit of Deborah Dilworth who is co-ordinating the @FreeLionesses, in France, for the FIFAWWC.  It was great to show them what Women’s Recreational Football means to the women who have started playing it.

L-R Jo Treharne, Frederic Varnier (Deputy Mayor), Alain Cremont (Mayor), Carol Bates

After the Day Festival, medals were presented to all the players and trophies were handed out to our Match Officials, to whom we were very grateful.  The daughters and son of some of the Stafford Soccer Mums had stepped in to referee, as well as Georgia Ungoed, and they each received a Match Official trophy.  We were even more appreciative when we saw how many flies those Match Official shirts were attracting!

The “Best All Round” Awards were presented as follows, after the referees had chosen who should be recognised.

GROUP A:     TEAM:  CHILE – Jackdaws FC

PLAYER:  Catherine Bradley – Twisted Sisters

GROUP B:      TEAM:  CANADA – Arsenal-Lanesra

PLAYER:  Becks Felton – Stafford Soccer Mums

GROUP C:      TEAM:  ITALY – Kingswood Ladies Blue

PLAYER:  Charlie Cooper – COGS

GROUP D:     TEAM:  JAPAN – Kingswood Ladies Aqua

PLAYER:  Katy Giles – Lewes FC Women’s Vets

Each player received a handcrafted bottle opener on an engraved wooden plinth which was made by Jo Blackman from the Canterbury Old Bags and each team received a glass trophy award.

The afternoon started with a break for the evening teams to be announced and we were treated to a display of freestyling with 2 balls by BalaSport Ambassador and Guinness World Record Holder, Norman Habri.

It was then time for the raffle.  Massive thanks to everyone who donated prizes for the raffle, which included a signed Lionesses shirt, a Wales International signed shirt, a Chelsea Women signed shirt and other prizes.  We would like to thank Rachel Pavlou (FA), Siona Murray (Mochdre Lionesses), Ann Gibson (Arsenal-Lanesra), Ant Warnick (Lewes FC Women’s Vets) for their help in getting the donations and Siona Murray and Charlotte Trice for selling tickets.

The raffle raised an incredible 801 Euros!  This will be split between UK Charity Women’s Aid and DAMARA a French Women’s domestic violence charity.

Then an England Play-off was played to see which England team would make it to the semi-finals, due to an abundance of English players putting their names down to be selected.  The two England teams battled it out with the England White team beating the Red team, to head into the Semi-Final Draw.

The draw was made, a la FIFA World Cup style, and the following semi-finals commenced:

USA vs. Wales

England vs. RoW.

They finished with the USA and England progressing to the Final with a win for the USA against Wales (in normal time) and a penalty shoot out win for England against RoW.

The #OGWC19 Finalists – USA & England

With the evening games starting at 6.45, it meant that the young boys and girls’ teams from Soisssons FC were able to join us and accompany our teams as player mascots.  As they walked out with the players from the changing rooms, there was so much pride from the children and their parents as they led the players to the centre circle with the Match Officials.

Officiating for the evening games was Karen Dare, an experienced referee from Sussex County FA, along with the brilliant girls as Assistants from the Stafford Soccer Mums.   The Final was a tight affair but the USA’s Alison Walters managed to break through and beat the England keeper to make it a 1-0 win for the USA.  There were plenty of hugs and congratulations to the winners after the final whistle.  Throughout the evening, it was fantastic to see all the women and the people of Soissons cheering on the teams and enjoying watching the matches!

So, there we have it, a brilliant day of participation and a win for the USA team in the evening to claim the Cup.  Just before the Cup presentations were held, 4 more Player of the Group trophies were given out to the stand out players from the 4 countries. The winners were:

Wales – Beth Smith

RoW – Bridget Rhule

England – Sarah Chapman

USA – Claudia Guzman

The Cup presentations were then made, with England being presented with the Runners Up trophy and among cheers and ticker tape, the USA team collected the #OGWC19 Cup, complete with red, white and blue ribbons!

The evening was almost complete but before the end there were presentations made to Soissons FC staff for all their help, including a Friendship Trophy and then Soissons’ Martine Genin (Club Secretary and organiser of all the catering etc.) returned the compliment by presenting Carol and Jo with gifts.

Everyone helped with the clearing up and a quick toast of Champagne, with the Soissons staff was had at the end of the night.

A massive thank you goes to the people from the Ville de Soissons – Alain Cremont (Mayor) and Frederic Varnier (Deputy Mayor) for allowing us to hold the event, with Thierry Condac and Edouard Poulisse, also from Ville de Soissons, working extremely hard to get everything in place.   As well as Tony, Martine and everyone who helped from Soissons FC, for their dedication and hard work in making this an amazing event.

We would also like to thank Jade Harker from Jade Harker Photography for capturing the event so brilliantly and providing us with photographs and an amazing video to treasure.  All of these can be found on Jade’s website here:





Thank you also to Angus Coull for use of some of his photographs and thank you to everyone who came and made it a very special occasion.

What we found from hosting the #OGWC19 is that…..

It’s NEVER TOO LATE to start playing football,

It’s NEVER TOO LATE to start a team

It’s NEVER TOO LATE to make new friends, and


Thank you to everyone who believed in what we were doing and for the amazing feedback that we received!  We are truly humbled and grateful.


Carol, Jo & Si.



#OGWC19       Final Update 14th June 2019.

Hi Everyone,

This is the final update that we’ll send out as we only have 1 WEEK TO GO!  Exciting!

Thanks to those who have forwarded their Team Sheets already, we look forward to receiving the rest, whether it’s prior to leaving or on the day.

We just thought we would clarify a couple of things, so it’s clear how the evening is going to work.  It’s quite difficult to get a system to make it all run smoothly with all the different players, so this is how it’s going to work:

11v11 Cup Competition – Evening.

We would like to re-iterate that this is a competition to win the Cup and will be played after players have already played during the day.  Please make sure you are comfortable with playing the amount of football that could be involved.  If you want to play in the evening and you have players in your team during the day who aren’t, it may be a good idea to manage game time, as you see fit, for those who are playing in the evening.   There are 16 shirts to play for in the evening squads and squads will be chosen during the day, by appointed Managers.  Obviously, the Managers will want to pick players who they think will do well in the Cup Competition so please don’t be disappointed if your name isn’t picked!  Please also make sure that you have a connection with the country you choose to play for and not just choose it as you may have more chance of playing.

Here’s how it will work:

When the team sheet is confirmed on the morning, the players who have ticked to play in the evening will be given a wristband of the colour of the team they want to play for. ie. white for England, red for Wales, navy for USA & light blue for RoW. This will then have the player’s name written on.

A Manager and Assistant will be appointed for each country for the evening and throughout the day they will try and watch the players who have wristbands for their teams. When the Festival is finished there will be an opportunity for those who have chosen to play to pull out if they feel it’s not for them, after playing their games.

During the break, all players who have chosen to play will meet their Managers/Assistants and the teams will be picked. Remember this is the competition to win the Cup so players will be picked on that basis. Once the teams have been picked they will get to know each other during the break, be given their shirt and the team sheet for the evening will need to be completed. This needs to be done by 6pm. The registration for the evening will be 6.30pm ready for the first game (England play-off) to be kicked off at 6.45.

All the knockout games will be 20 minutes each with a 5-minute half time break and change of ends. It will be hot and already quite a bit of football will have been played so it was felt that 20 minutes is enough for each game. If the games end in a draw there will be no extra time, just 3 penalties.

Everyone playing in the 11v11 games MUST know the 11 a-side rules.

Travel from Berny Riviere to Soissons.

We are currently arranging transport from the campsite to Soissons, either by coach or mini buses, on the day of the Festival.  Details are on the Event on Facebook but if you haven’t seen it and would like to be included, please comment on the post on the Event asap so you can be included in the numbers.  The cost will be 10 Euros for the return journey.  Times of departure for the morning and evening will be advised.  Places are limited as it looks like there is only one coach being provided by the campsite and we’re not sure how many journeys they are prepared to do.  We have been told about 115/120 players so far.  Please reply to the following thread if you are interested and we may be able to get everyone covered.


BBC South East – Inside Out.

We met with Producer/Director Sam Supple at the beginning of June and discussed the filming of the Event.

Sam will be at the Pool Bar Meet Up on the Thursday evening and we will have a sort of “opening ceremony” there with the 4 flags of the evening countries.  He will be filming throughout the day of the Festival but will also be concentrating on the evening “international” matches for the #OGWC19.  He will then be filming a bit at the campsite on Saturday and will follow anyone who is going to the Valenciennes game on Sunday evening.  I think there are still tickets left for this game, if anyone is staying until Sunday.  Fingers crossed England win the group as that would be amazing to see them in that game!


A bit later than planned we now have the name of the French Women’s Charity where 50% of the money raised will go.  The charity is called DAMARA which is a national association for domestic violence and they have an office in Soissons.   Tickets will be sold during the day of the Festival.  If you want to donate any raffle prizes, please feel free!

Under 30s.

We have been advised by 3 teams that they have more than 2 under 30s players.  Not wanting to turn people away, we have put those teams in the same group and we may be able to sort out potentially playing another unders’ player or swapping players around.  If you have more than the amount of under 30s stipulated, please let us know asap.  Thanks.  There are also teams with more than the recommended maximum of 10 players.  Again, we don’t want to turn players away so it will be up to team managers to manage their game time.

Game Times.

Games during the day for the Festival will be 16 minutes each with a 2 min. ht break. Timings are attached on the front cover of the Programme.


Please use the hashtag #OGWC19 on any social media posts and photos so we can find them!  Thanks.

If you have any further questions or need help with anything, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Carol Bates, Jo Treharne & Siona Murray – COGS, Bags & Welsh Lionesses.


#OGWC19 Update – May 2019.

Hi everyone, here is the last detailed update for the #OGWC19 before we travel.  We may send out a short one if there is more information we need to send you.  It’s less than a month away and we are getting excited already!  A final trip to Soissons was made last week to sort out the last details and we have put them below, just in case you didn’t already know.  If anyone has any questions, however small, please don’t hesitate to ask!  We want everyone to enjoy themselves, while having fun, making new friends, catching up with old ones and playing football for enjoyment, so anything we can do to make that happen, we will.

If you’re driving in France:

If you’re driving to Soissons, there maybe some information that you weren’t aware of.

Please make sure you have adequate Breakdown Insurance which will mean that your car can be repatriated and you get back home safely.  There are also items that you need to carry in your vehicle when you travel, which are listed below:

Driving in France checklist:

Here’s everything you need to carry with you when driving in France and a couple of things to leave at home:

  • Full and valid driver’s licence
  • In terms of documents, UK drivers will also need proof of insurance and ownership (V5C) as well as a passport or national identification card to satisfy the French authorities.
  • Two NF certified breathalysers (2 needed, as if you have to use 1 you then still have another 1 in the car)
  • Reflective jackets for all passengers (these need to be behind the front seats for easy access)
  • Warning triangles
  • Headlamp beam deflectors
  • GB sticker (non-GB-euro symbol plates only)
  • No speed camera detectors or sat-navs with camera locations

There are 2 different speed limits in France, one for dry and one for wet weather.  On the French motorways the speed limit is 130km/h (80mph), and 110km/h in the wet (70mph), unless otherwise indicated.

Give way to the right! Most important when driving in busy cities, at unmarked intersections priority is given to those coming from the right, unless otherwise stated. This is why a second look to the right is always a good thing to remember.

There is plenty of information on the internet so please make sure you are clued up before you go.

The toll booth is located at St. Omer, on the way from Calais, where you will take a ticket and then pay for it when you get nearer to Soissons.  You can pay by debit card although it would be handy to carry a spare credit card in case the debit card is not accepted. It’s around £14 one way.

Finally, we were given this list of fines by someone who has a place in France and was stopped and fined for wearing flip-flops!  Her message is as follows:

France is a beautiful country, but just be aware…

Police have been out in force, catching unsuspected tourist and locals.

Please be aware……..

– Driving in flip flops 80€
– Driving shirt-less 80€
– Drinking water whilst driving 100€
– Driving with hand, elbow or arm out of window 80€
– Driving in a hat that covers ears 80€
– Eating ice cream whilst driving 100€
– Driving with unsecured objects on parcel shelf 200€
– Washing vehicle on public roads 30€ – 3000€
– Passenger with feet on dashboard 100€
– Throwing a cigarette out of the window 200€ + 4 points
– Driving without carrying your licence €10
– Driving with 6 or 7 people in the vehicle (overloaded) 80€

Adding unrestrained dogs, I believe, is on the spot fine 80 euros

When you get there…

If you are staying at the Berny Riviere Campsite, we visited there last week and took a few snaps!  It looks like a great place, with lots to do, restaurants and bars and places to swim/relax.  There is a shop on the site but there is also a really good Supermarche just down the road which has everything, including a great choice of wine & cheese!

There is a small indoor football pitch, table tennis tables, trampolines (don’t forget your tena ladies!), the Pool Bar is being renovated and will be open next week.  This is by the manmade lake with sand.

There are also a number of swimming pools.  The Lifestyle Caravans have BBQs (not sure about the Eurocamp ones) but no doubt there will be a few get togethers involving a BBQ and a few drinks!

Registration Fees:

There are a few Registration Fees still to be paid, so if you could get that organised please, we would be very grateful, thank you.  The Registration Fee for one team is £70 (£10 per person for the minimum number).   The account to send the payment to is detailed on the update sent by email.

An acknowledgement will be sent on receipt of your payment.

The Main Event – #OGWC19.

Registration and format:

Attached to the email sent out is the Team Sheet which will need to be presented when you register your team in the morning. If you know exactly who is going, it would be great to receive it before that to the COGS email address (cogscrawley@gmail.com) so we get an early indication of who is playing in the evening games.  Each player will need to be entered, along with a X against the relevant country you want to play for in the competitive “World Cup” games in the evening. A couple of things to note:

  1. The day’s Festival is all about participation. There will be medals and “Best” trophies which will be decided by the officials who referee the games. The evening is about healthy competition.  To play in the evening we want you to be sure that you can play in a different environment to the daytime games.  Please also be aware that there will be a lot of football if you are playing in both the day and evening games.  It’s up to you to do whatever you feel comfortable with.
  2. When your Team Sheet is handed in at Registration (or before), there are 4 options for you to tick against, if you want to also play in the evening. You can choose to play for England, Wales, USA or Rest of World in the Cup Competition.  Please also tick if you can play as a GK.  Once you have decided who you want to play for (don’t forget it’s not compulsory), during the day all players who have ticked the boxes to join the England team will then be drawn out into 2 separate teams.  This will be done in front of witnesses.  We hope the numbers will work out!  Both teams of English players will then play each other in a play-off to see who goes through to the semi finals.  There will no doubt be sufficient players for the other 3 teams that only 1 team will be selected.  If you have a hint that you are from anywhere in the Rest of the World apart from the USA or Wales, you might want to join the RoW team.  In fact, if you can get your Team Sheet in early as you know who is coming, that would be appreciated.
  3. If you have England shirts, bring them along for the play-off match to wear and we will use bibs to differentiate the teams. When the England play-off has determined which team goes through to the semis, each team will be issued with shirts, see below as an example:

We anticipate the length of games to be as follows, so you can work out whether you want to play in the evening.

During the day, as we have 20 teams so far, we will split into 4 groups of 5.  Games will be approx. 12 minutes and as it will probably be hot and we will need to keep hydrating, we have put in half times where teams will swap ends.  If we get another few entries and have 6 in any group, we will change the game time, accordingly.

At the moment, we are looking at the games in the evening being 20 minutes each with HT.  Bearing in mind in may be very hot, we don’t want to have too many long periods of playing without hydration.

By the time 2 teams get to the Final, you may have played a lot of football so again, it will be 20 minutes with a HT break.

This is the plan at present but could be subject to a small change if necessary.

Food and drink:

Please bring plenty of water with you and some snacks if you want to.  There will be a BBQ running all day, which Soissons FC are organising.  There will be burgers, chips etc.  There will also be soft drinks as well as beer, wine and cider.  If you fancy anything else, you can always bring it with you.

PLEASE NOTE:  Soissons FC can only accept cash (Euros) as they don’t have a card facility.


Just to reiterate, the #OGWC19 is affiliated with Sussex County FA and is covered by their Public Liability Insurance.  Please make sure your team is covered for accidents/injuries as a separate cover.  If you aren’t an affiliated team you will be unable to do this through Bluefin Insurance but please find someone else to include it with players’ travel insurance.  When the Team Sheet is handed in, players listed on that sheet will be playing at their own risk.


We will be holding a raffle to raise money for two Women’s Charities – one English and one French.  The English charity will be Women’s Aid and the French charity is still tbc.

Please bring plenty of Euros to buy tickets!  We would love to make a large donation to both charities.  Also, if you still have time to get hold of any prizes, we’d love to receive them!  We have signed shirts, official Man. City Women merchandise and other items to win.


Attached is a list of teams entered and the Countries which have been randomly allocated to each team.  Closed eyes and a pencil were used and the nearest country to the mark was picked against that team.  We will have flags around the stadium for your countries but feel free to purchase your own flag/s to bring with you.  Your welcome packs will include a laminated flag to put on the fence where you’re camped, on the day.


We are delighted and thankful that Balasport UK have generously donated 8 Fairtrade BALA footballs for us to use for the day.


Please use the hashtag #OGWC19 on any social media posts and photos so we can find them!  Thanks.

If you have any further questions or need help with anything, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Kind regards,

Carol Bates, Jo Treharne & Siona Murray – COGS, Bags & Welsh Lionesses.


#OGWC19 Update – April 2019.

Firstly, we would like to thank everyone who has already entered a team for what we hope is going to be a great day of participation and competitive Recreational Football, on 21st June in Soissons.

So far, we have received 16 entries, including teams from England, Wales, the USA and some players from Scotland and other countries.

Soissons FC & Soissons Council.

We are extremely grateful to Soissons FC and Soissons Council, who have been brilliant in working with us to organise this Event.  Please check out the Soissons FC Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/soissons.fc.9/ for some more information on their Club.  They will be organising activities for the FIFAWWC and these will include the following, as posted on their Page by Manu Ducarroz, who is the Head of Women’s Football at Soissons FC:

“Several events will take place in our city in order to promote women’s football in the region…

📌 a week of women’s football will take place in May with the Soissons FC: Discovery, initiations, workshops etc etc…

📌 a festive day will take place with various activities in collaboration the daf and the city of soissons

📌 a women’s international tournament in collaboration with an English club as well as the city hall of soissons.
Already English, Welsh, Scottish and American teams will be present 🏴 🏴 🏴 🇺🇸

More information very soon…

#OGWC19 #foot #soccer #worldcup #Soissons #Alain Crémont #District Aisne Football”

We are planning to go to Soissons, in May, to support their Women’s Football Week and to finalise the arrangements for our own Event.

The “Jean-Pierre Papin” Stadium was opened in May 2016 by the former European Footballer of the Year, himself.  This video of the opening day will show you the Soissons FC Stadium.  https://vimeo.com/167350705


We believe those who have entered, have also booked their accommodation too, at the Berny Riviere Campsite.  There will be a meet up on Thursday 20th June, in the evening at the Pool Bar, for everyone to get together for a few drinks, meet each other and enjoy the facilities.  The Event is on Facebook to join. https://www.facebook.com/events/2479938605367439/

If you haven’t booked your accommodation yet, Lifestyle Holidays are doing 4 and 7 day stays. https://www.lifestyleholidays.co.uk/la-croix-du-vieux-pont-berny-riviere/


No one knows what’s going to happen with “Brexit” yet but if you are travelling by car, there is a possibility if there is a delay agreed, travelling via Calais will be less trying than previously thought!   Whilst driving on the A26, there is a toll to pay which is approximately £14.00 for a single journey.  It’s a fairly straightforward drive from Calais, which took us 2 1/2 hours exactly.  For teams in the EU presently, please make sure everyone has an up to date passport, just in case it’s needed as, no doubt, there’ll be a long delay to get one if it’s left until the last minute.

Registration Fee:

An acknowledgement will be sent on receipt of any payments.  The fee is £70 per team (£10 per person for the minimum number needed).


The Festival will run during the day as a 7v7 participation event with 4 groups of teams (we have 8 places available).  Each team will be issued with a Country which is playing in the FIFAWWC and will play as that Country with their team name.  Depending on final numbers, we will work out the game time accordingly.  The day will be a fun event for Women who are relatively new to football with some experienced players and we believe that teams will be evenly matched to enjoy playing against each other.  There will be trophies for “Team of the Group” and also for “Player of the Group” which will be chosen by the referees for the “best all round” from each group, that they think deserve recognition.  If you attended the COGS Festival last year, this worked quite well.  Everyone will receive a medal.

The evening event will be the competitive tournament which will include countries playing for the Old Girls’ “World Cup” (we’ve seen it and it’s worth winning!).  The way we are going to work this, is that if we have an abundance of English players, we will have an England vs. England play-off game to see which English team goes through to the knockout games.  We will then have 2 knockout semi-finals, which will be drawn out of the “hat” with teams from England, Wales, USA and a Rest of World/French team if we can get some of the Soissons Mums together.  The winners will then go through to the Old Girls’ “World Cup” Final.  During the day, we will get a list of players who can play in the evening event.  This will be competitive as each country will be playing for the Cup.

Soissons FC will be decorated in World Cup flags and bunting.


Everyone will need the correct insurance to play in the Festival.  Teams will be responsible for organising adequate insurance prior to playing.  There will be the equivalent of St. John’s Ambulance on site during the Festival.  Please check that travel insurance covers you adequately. Players will be playing at their own risk.

Welcome Packs: 

On arrival each team will be given Welcome Packs, which will include a Welcome Note, Team Sheet, Fixture List, Programme and a Country flag (laminated, with ties) so you can set up camp as your Country.  All teams will be advised of their Country prior to the event so they can purchase flags if they want to.


We will be holding a raffle to raise money for two Women’s Charities – one English and one French.  The English charity will be Women’s Aid and the French charity is tbc.

We have some exciting prizes which include signed international shirts as well as other national Club shirts along with some other prizes so please bring plenty of Euros!   The Draw will be made at the Event.  We will look into the possibility of others being able to purchase tickets online.


Please use the hashtag #OGWC19 on any social media posts and photos so we can find them!  Thanks.

If you have any further questions or need help with anything, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Yours in Sport,

Carol Bates, Jo Treharne & Siona Murray – COGS, Bags & Welsh Lionesses.


#OGWC19 – January 2019.

Teaming up with Women’s Recreational Teams, the Canterbury Old Bags, and with the Welsh Mochdre Lionesses helping in the North of England, we are all delighted to announce that we will be holding an Inaugural International “Old Girls” World Cup, in France, while the FIFA Women’s World Cup is being held!  It will be a Women’s (over 30s) Recreational Football Festival, which will include a Participation Festival during the day, with a competitive “Old Girls” World Cup Finals in the evening.  This event will be, primarily, for women of the “generation that football missed” who have started playing football in recent years and we will also include players who have played previously but who have now come back into the game, recreationally.  We would like to encourage women who are coming to watch the World Cup games, to get some friends together and come and join us.  Or, if you are too young to join us, would your Mums like to play?  We will have beginners/intermediate groups and a group for advanced/experienced players who have recently come back into the game, recreationally.  If you’re a fan from one of the countries participating in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, we would love for you to come and join us!

If you are registered as competitive affiliated League players, unfortunately you won’t be able to join us, as this is for Recreational teams only.

The event will be held on Friday 21st June, as it is a FIFA WWC Rest Day, in between the group and knockout games.  More details of the #OGWC19, as we’ll call it, can be found on the Invite, here:  OGWC19 Invite

We have approval from the Mayor of Soissons to use the Soissons FC Stadium, which is located approx. 90 mins north of Paris and 10 minutes away from the “Berny Riviere” campsite, which has great facilities and is only 2 1/2 hours drive from Calais. If you book through Lifestyle Holidays, we can provide you with a discount code once we have received your Team Entry Form.  More details are contained in the Information Sheet, here:  OGWC19 Information Sheet

When you have got your team together, please email the Team Entry Form (here: OGWC19 Team Entry Form) to cogscrawley@gmail.com and then you will receive confirmation and details on how to pay.  As well as entering the Participation Festival you will be asked how many players from your team will be playing in the competitive evening “Old Girls” World Cup Finals tournament.  This will include 11v11 games for a Country you represent and is for over 30s only.  There will be the “OGWC19” trophy for the winners of this Competition, as well as a Runner-Up trophy.   All players will receive a medal for playing in the Participation Festival during the day.

This Festival is the first one we have run internationally and we are extremely keen to encourage “older” women to participate in playing football whether it be for the first time or whether it’s from coming back into the game from a while ago.   Please tell your friends and pass the word around any friends in different countries who you think may like to come and have some fun playing football with us!

If you have any questions that aren’t on the information sheets, please don’t hesitate to email cogscrawley@gmail.com.  We look forward to welcoming you to the “Old Girls” World Cup! #OGWC19

Yours in sport,


Carol Bates – Crawley Old Girls         Jo Treharne – Canterbury Old Bags         Siona Murray – Mochdre Lionesses.