Women’s football in Oxford is about to get bigger and better, as the University football club want to improve the standard of women’s football across Oxford. The University currently has two women’s football teams, the Blues and the Furies, who compete against universities from across the country. Oxford also has five college football leagues, as well as an annual Cuppers competition.
Last season’s Cuppers saw a close-fought contest between LHM/Trinity and Somerville. Despite LMH/Trinity’s victory, the commitment from both teams is indicative of how football is seen by those currently playing. Football is becoming an increasingly popular sport amongst women in the University and across the country so it’s no surprise that the Oxford University Women’s Football Club (OUWAFC) feels that it is time for the women’s game to become more widely recgonised in Oxford.
OUWAFC is hosting two ‘fun days’ at the Iffley Road Stadium, aimed at encouraging greater participation in the sport across the university. All female footballers, from complete beginners to experienced players, are welcome to the ‘fun days’ this weekend and will be offered coaching by university coaches and members of the University squad. There will also be the chance to meet other players from across the University as well as improve their skills.
The event, organised by Dan Rodrigues and myself, is expected to be the first of several events to be held over the next year. Rodrigues, coach of the Furies, said: ‘Football is the fastest growing women’s sport in the UK and we want this to be replicated in Oxford. We want to improve the standard of football across the board, starting at grassroots level and extending through to college football and the University squad. These football fun days are a great way to begin to improve the women’s game.’
OUWAFC are hoping that this season there will be much closer links between the club and the college football teams. Last season there were 27 college teams entered into Cuppers so we know that there are plenty of women in Oxford who enjoy playing football, but many of them have never had access to professional coaching. We hope that by holding these events, players might improve and spread what they have learnt to their college teams. We might also find some undiscovered talent, and these players will be invited to the university team trials in October.
Events such as the fun days have been held in previous years, but it is hoped that this year it will be on a much bigger scale. Sarah Campbell, a Hertford second-year, attended a similar event held by OUWAFC last year. ‘In my first year I was nervous about going to trials, as I did not know if I was of a high enough standard,’ Sarah explained, ‘However, after I went to the development day last year, I saw that I was good enough and this year I got into the Blues squad.’ Sarah played regularly for the Blues this season, including their Varsity match.
OUWAFC hope that by holding regular coaching sessions they can continue to find new players.
When? Sat 31st May and Sun 1st June
What Time? 11am until 3pm on both days
Where? Iffley Road Football Stadium
What to bring? Appropriate footwear, shinpads, lunch and plenty to drink
People are free to turn up on either day at Iffley Road Stadium.
Anybody with any questions should email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.