Girls’ Football continues to grow in schools across England as the ESFA receive record entries for their 2022/23 National Schools’ Cup competitions
This record breaking announcement coincides with the Lionesses’ continued success in the Women’s Euros 2022, where a trio of former England U15 Schoolgirls’ players are thriving on the international stage.
The ESFA has seen the number of girls’ competition entries across the U12 – U18 age groups grow steadily since the introduction of girls’ competitions in 1995. This season, the number has reached its highest level yet with 1,863 teams – up by 160 teams last season, meaning around 28,446 schoolgirls will experience competitive levels of schools’ football in the 2022/23 season.
As advocates for the girls’ game, the ESFA provide a plethora of competitions and opportunities for pupils to get involved in, from their U11 Girls’ Primary Competitions, to their U18 Women’s Super League. The ESFA focused on Girls’ Football for Schools’ Football Week (SFW) in February 2022, which provided an opportunity for over 57,000 schoolgirls to experience some level of schools’ football activity during the campaign.
Thanks to the representative football structure in place across ESFA County and District Schools’ FA’s, the National Governing Body for Schools’ Football also runs an U15 England Schoolgirls’ squad each season. It is fantastic to see former England Schoolgirls, Georgia Stanway, Alessia Russo and Hannah Hampton, taking centre stage as part of the Lionesses’ squad in this year’s Women’s EUROs.
Stuart Botham, ESFA Chair 22/23 said, “The ESFA is delighted to have reached a new record-breaking number of girls’ National Cup entries for the 22/23 season, it is fantastic to see the enthusiasm for girls’ football continue to grow, season after season. The ESFA is very proud of its International Programme for both the U15 Girls’ and U18 Boys’ teams – and I hope that trialists for this season’s Schoolgirls’ squad are inspired by former players, Georgia, Alessia and Hannah, taking the women’s game by storm and heading to Wembley this Sunday.
The ESFA prides itself in striving to create an inclusive environment for all children to have an opportunity to participate in football activity, competitively or otherwise. We hope that this year’s entrants will be inspired by the Lionesses’ success and the ESFA’s opportunities and that they will achieve their goals, strive for improvement and, most importantly, build strong and lasting friendships and relationships through their love of the sport.”
2022 is already proving to be an inspirational year for Women’s football and the Lionesses’ progress to the finals will create yet another platform to engage with young schools’ football players. The Association wishes all the very best to the England Women’s squad for their Final fixture on Sunday.
The National Governing Body for Schools’ Football in England.