As we build up to this weekend's FA Women's Football Weekend, we have been taking a look at various aspects of the great work going on in Greater Manchester. There are plenty of football leagues offering opportunities for Girls and Women to play competitive league football with their clubs. In Manchester, we have three key leagues that deliver this, with great volunteers running and growing girls and women's football provision in our area.
The Greater Manchester women’s league (GMWFL) provides a pathway from U18s to adult football and comprises the entry level step within the Women’s football pyramid, providing a promotion pool to supply the North West Women’s Regional League. They also support junior to adult transition, with a U18s division (Saturdays) and two adult divisions (Sundays) allowing players to experience under 18 football and gradually step across to Women’s football. The League was previously combined with the Cheshire League, and split in order to create more localised football. The league has now grown to a position where they have 24 teams across the 3 age groups and are keen to reach 30 teams by 2021. During the 2018/19 season the U18s division was re-established, following the junior leagues offering U17 provision for the past 4 seasons. The U18 provision re-started with 10 teams which was an exceptional success, and the leagues flexibility in enabling Saturday football for this age group has ensured their growth. The league run an annual information evening in April each year for new clubs, and this offers a great opportunity to provide a summary of the leagues offer.
For more information on the league, please contact league chairman Lee Sutton via email
The North Manchester Girls League has been running for several years and provides structured league football for junior teams from U8 up to U16s. The league offers a weekly fixture programme which takes place on Saturday mornings, and is played at central venues across Oldham and Tameside. The fixtures kick off from 8am to 1pm at specific venues per age group, and most of these are played on artificial pitches which ensures that fixtures are played during almost all weeks of the season. The league has been running for several years and has gone from strength to strength, incorporating under 8s football most recently to accommodate the demand created in recent years, particularly through initiatives like the SSE Wildcats programme. The League provides a direct pathway to the Greater Manchester Women’s League, so the girls can progress to open age football easily, and together with the South Manchester Girls League, young players are supported throughout their junior football journey. The NMGFL have offered several cup competitions each season, and this year they delivered their first year of cup finals within a professional stadium. Hyde United’s Ewen Fields played host to the finals which were exceptionally well delivered, and the league will continue to progress these opportunities as their member base develops in future.
You can find more information from the league secretary, Michelle Cooper, via her email address.
The League was established in 2003, and has grown every season since, going from strength to strength with the League running 1 or 2 divisions at each age group from U9s up to U16s up to u16’s. The League offers weekly fixtures, mostly kicking off at 12:30pm on a Saturday afternoon, and the league provides a direct pathway to the Greater Manchester Women’s League and the Cheshire Women’s & Youth League, so the girls can progress to open age football easily. The League won the 2015 FA’s Charter Standard League of the Year for Manchester and Manchester FA’s Grassroots award for League of the Year in 2015 and 2017. The Manchester United Foundation are a partner of the league and have been helping with the development of both players and coaches by delivering several workshops each season. At the end of each season the League hire a Stadium where for two full weekends, all the age groups play their Cup Finals. Meetings are held alternate months for managers and secretaries to be updated on news, League matters, County FA matters, and welfare issues etc.
For further information on the league, please contact Pete Dyer (League Secretary) on email.
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