Mochdre Lionesses women’s football team rounded off another year of progress with success in an end-of-season tournament.
The North Wales women won their group in the Inspire League’s final set of cup matches.
The Inspire League, endorsed by Cheshire FA and established by women’s football development manager Stephanie Knott in 2017, began as a series of recreational/beginner football festivals to encourage women of all ages and experience levels to play.
In 2018, due to the success of the festivals and the growing popularity of women’s recreational football in the North West, it developed into a more formal league structure.
This was possible due to the enthusiasm of senior county referee Carla Parker and a committee of volunteers who responded to the changing needs of women’s football in the region.
Mochdre Lionesses were one of the few women’s recreational teams in North Wales established at that time, and reached out to Cheshire FA to find opportunities to play.
The squad was invited to take part in the festivals and were successful in getting permission from the FAW to participate.
From there they progressed to being part of the Inspire League in the beginners/improvers stream.
Lionesses team secretary and defender Siona Murray explained more: “It was a serious learning curve this year and our fortunes were mixed during the season.
“Rallying a team and bringing different groups of players together each month was a challenge, but one that the squad faced up to with enthusiasm and good humour.
“Often playing with no subs and against much larger and more experienced squads, we persevered and were determined to learn from each match.
“The last fixtures for the Inspire League season were cup games, and we were delighted with a win from our group. With a strong defensive line, a hard working midfield, great assists and an on-point striker we secured a win in the first game against Crewe.
“A second challenging match against Broadheath followed, with a number of fouls awarding us free kicks and an ultimate breakaway mid-game gave us another goal, leading to a 1-1 draw.
“This was a hard-fought match and was a great confidence boost to add to our wins in Stafford and the positive results of our games in the Old Girls World Cup in France.”
Siona continued: “We have had a steady stream of new players this year of all ages and experience levels starting at Mochdre.
“We welcome anyone who wants to step up and try a new challenge – whether playing for the first time or coming back to the sport after a long absence.
“We have always tried to reach out beyond our region to meet like-minded teams and increase the range and options for women’s recreational football. Each year has been a new footballing adventure and we are excited to see what the future holds for us in the 2019/2020 season.”
The Inspire League will continue this year and new teams can join from August. The 6-a-side format carries on from September to December, with a new 9-a-side option starting in January 2020.
This will run in parallel with the small-sided game. New teams of beginners may also have the option of taster games on normal fixture days if the numbers allow.
To find out more you can contact the league by email at InspireLeague@outlook.com or on Twitter at @inspire_league.