Accrington Stanley Women provide a motivating and welcoming environment for more than 200 women and girls to play football and train regularly. They are also making waves in their leagues, with many fantastic individual players as well as team performances - with one even getting an England call up. This year the Under 18s team have been accepted to play in the very prestigious Dallas Texans International Girls Cup.
The Dallas Texans International Girls Cup is held in Dallas, Texas, USA, and the host club Dallas Texans are ranked as one of the top youth soccer clubs in the United States with 18,000 players and 700 teams. Over 200 teams from around the world participate in the tournament taking place over a week, running up to Easter. This is an application-only event, and only the best teams are selected from hundreds of qualified applications the tournament receives each year.
Star performers representing Accrington Stanley Women include 16 year old college student Niamh Corrigan, who won Player of the Match on just her second call up with the first team. She was also last season's Player's Player of the Year and Parent's Player of the Year for the club. Lily Metcalf, 16, is another rising star who will represent Accrington Stanley Women on the world stage. Playing football since the age of 8, football is her passion and both players are currently studying sports to make it their career. Joining them is the youngest member of the squad, Ocean Flanagan who received an England call up last season and went on to be honoured Captain.
Sami Smithson, chair of Accrington Stanley Women, said: "Travelling to Dallas for such a prestigious Cup is such an amazing opportunity for the team, and all of Accrington Stanley Women. This will motivate us throughout all the age groups, and gives us a chance to showcase the incredible talent pipeline we have coming through the ranks.
"It's a real honour to be invited, and we will do everything we can to make Accrington proud. Just being there is a massive achievement, and I'm so proud of all our age groups who are so talented - and our pathway to the top.
"We believe only one English team has won this tournament in the 15 years it has been running so far, so we expect the standard to be high. The other English team that has been invited to participate is Chelsea - so that gives you an idea of the standard!
"We are currently fundraising to ensure that all participants are able to make the trip, without any exclusion due to financing.
"We would love to be able to raise £5000 to help offset the costs for the families. We have already received sponsorship from Farleys Solicitors, Macron have kindly sponsored our kit for the tournament, and the girls and families are raising money with raffles and football cards. If you are able to help us send the team on their way, please do so!"
If you are able to sponsor the teams as they go for greatness in this tournament, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The Just Giving page is www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ASWFC if you're able to contribute.
For further coverage on Accrington Stanley Women, visit:www.facebook.com/AccringtonStanleyGirlsandLadies