4 v 4 footie gives girls a chance to shine

Girls from a variety of schools and clubs across Clacton and Thurrock enjoyed the growing format of 4v4 football at Essex County FA festivals during May and Girls’ and Women’s Development Officer Emma Burden now hopes some of the newcomers from those events will “catch the bug” and join affiliated teams in local leagues.

The second Tendring Schools Central Venue League took place at the Clacton Coastal Academy and was supported by the Two Village, Rolph Primary, Coppins Green and Cann Hall schools. Around 40 girls from Years Three and Four attended an afternoon consisting of skills sessions delivered by Coach Carla Dickinson followed by a ‘round robin’ of 4v4 games.

Medals and certificates were received by all the participants involved and a fair play prize was also up for grabs. A very closely contested afternoon of football saw Two Village take the fair play award with an impressive 21 points for their excellent sportsmanship and behaviour, which are vitally important features of the 4v4 game.

4v4 is played on a field sized around 25 by 35 yards without a goalkeeper and participants are always actively involved in the game and not static as ‘roll-on, roll-off’ substitutions are permitted to allow them all to take part. Smaller ‘Pugg’ goals are used and there are no offsides plus players can score from anywhere on the field. It also gives young players an understanding of ‘attack and defence’ as the ball travels from end-to-end continuously.

Elsewhere, nearly 100 girls also took part in Essex County FA’s recent festival at Thurrock YFC for Under 8s to 10s. These events are popular as they give girls the chance to play in an organised festival environment against other similar teams and the players are under no pressure to play for points or a trophy as everyone comes away with a medal and a certificate.

The festival saw 16 teams take part, with games and skills sessions for the Under 8s and 9s and a busy match schedule for the 10s. The teams represented eight different clubs who may now be encouraged to make the step into affiliated girls’ leagues in Essex. Maldon Saints, Writtle Minors, Colebrook Royals, Hutton, Leigh Celtic, Thurrock and Kickstart all fielded sides as well as Harold Wood Primary School, who were awarded ‘Goody Bags’ for their fair play.

Emma said: “A big thank you goes to all the schools, teachers and headteachers who made the effort to bring the girls out at what is a very busy time of year. Many of the girls are experiencing football for the first time so fingers crossed they ‘catch the bug’ and look to attend more football sessions, either via the Central Venue League or their local club.”

To find out where and when the next 4v4 festival is taking place near you in Outer Essex, contact Emma on (01245) 393076 or E-Mail her at emma.burden@essexfa.com. For Essex’s London Boroughs, please contact Sharon Brownlie by phone on (01245) 393074 or via E-Mail at sharon.brownlie@essexfa.com. In addition, information on getting into female football can be found at www.essexfa.com.

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