England women’s team will not be the only ladies from these shores to be competing in a football World Cup in France this month.
Because the Stafford Soccer Mums are also taking the trip across the channel to take part in the ‘Old Girls’ World Cup next week.
A dozen mums from the fast growing Stafford based club will be taking on up to 20 teams from around the globe, as well as Scotland, Wales and other towns across England, in the inaugural World Cup for older women.
And the team have already bagged a local sponsor – Staffordshire Stoves – who has kitted them out with a brand new team strip to commemorate the tournament.
The trip represents another stage in the Stafford outfit’s journey since starting off with ten ladies in training just over two years ago to more than 50 women signed on this year. They compete in leagues set up by Staffordshire FA who launched a programme to get more female first timers involved in football.
In that time the club has already set up an annual match against Mochdre Lionesses in Wales; were recently hosted by Arsenal in a series of games along with Tottenham and West Ham community groups; and have launched their own tournament at the end of the month (June).
The alternative World Cup has been organised by the Lionesses along with fellow women’s teams, Crawley Old Girls and Canterbury Old Bags and takes place on Friday 21 June at Soissons FC in France.
Original Soccer Mum, Sally Butler, a 40 year old mother of two, who is organising the trip said:
“This just seemed a great opportunity to take the Stafford Soccer Mums to another level and compete against a host of other teams from home and abroad.
“We are an incredibly enthusiastic bunch of players and this should be a fantastic experience.”
Damien George, from Staffordshire Stoves, said: “When I heard the Soccer Mums were going to represent our town at this first ever World Cup in France I thought it would be great for them to have a brand new kit to match a memorable occasion.
“I’m now looking forward to seeing the reports and the photos coming back from the tournament…with, I hope, a bit of success too.”
Any woman who would like to find out more about training and playing with the Soccer Mums can get in contact with Will Conaghan on 07717 797500 email firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter @staffsoccermums