A group of women from Wales are making a 200 round trip this weekend for an international match against the Stafford Soccer Mums.
The clash will be a return fixture following the Soccer Mums visit to Conwy in North Wales last year.
The day will feature three teams from the Soccer Mums and a squad from their Welsh counterparts, Mochdre Lionesses, playing each other in a round robin mini tournament.
Around 100 supporters made up of husbands, children, parents and friends are expected to cheer on the teams when they kick off from 1.30pm on Sunday 13 May at Perkins Engines on the Tixall Road.
The Soccer Mums began playing last year with an average of 42 years old and found their foray into competitive football a baptism of fire conceding more than 50 goals and scoring only one from their first handful of games.
They now have approximately 40 women training regularly after starting the first ‘Mums Play Football Centre’ in Stafford in association with Staffordshire FA.
Will Conaghan, who set up Stafford Soccer Mums, said it was a great day out when the team took two mini buses and cars full of players and supporters to Wales.
“The Lionesses were great hosts and we wanted to return their hospitality – although they may be a little surprised at how many new players we have.
“Mums playing football is a phenomenon, with our numbers having more than trebled in a year – and, with the vast majority having never played a competitive match before, this may come as a bit of a shock to some of the newbies but I’m sure they will enjoy the experience.”
He added: “We couldn’t have put this international on without the huge help from players, partners and friends – so a big thank you to all of them.”
Goalkeeper Amanda Evans, aged 50, said:
“It was a fantastic experience in Wales. To meet a group of mums who love to play football as much as us was brilliant – even if it did mean travelling more than 200 miles to find them.
“I am confident this will now become an annual fixture in the mums’ sporting calendar.”
Fifty three year old Lynn Ecclestone, added:
“The real winner of this tournament will be women’s football. This is a great advert for the grassroots game and it also demonstrates that it is never too late to start playing.
“I hope there are mums up and down the country who will hear of this and decide that they can get out and play – because we are having the time of our lives in sport.”
For more information about the Stafford Soccer Mums contact Will on firstname.lastname@example.org, 07717 797500 or tweet @staffsoccermums.