Here’s the story of a relatively new women’s football team from Flintshire told through their own words.
Four mums set up Mynydd Isa Spartans Ladies football club in the summer of 2019.
The team is now 25 players strong with ages ranging from 17-49 and comes under the wider umbrella of Mynydd Isa Football Club.
We’ve also got 9 ladies on our waiting list.
All but three of the players are mums.
We train on a Monday evening at Argoed Sports club.
We play at a recreational level and have played against Llysfaen Lionesses, Dragonhearts, Mochdre Lionesses, Upton Chester, Upton on the Wirral, Holywell and Welshpool.
The team won’t be joining a league yet and will look to continue to play friendlies at recreational level.
The team are looking to build confidence and for them playing football is not all about playing at a competitive level.
The mental health benefits are important to the team and we want to empower each other to learn new skills whilst enjoying getting fit and having that time to escape from the busy world that surrounds us.
Our manager/coach is Michael Ewing and coaches are Jon Hutchinson and Andrew Watton, who have both gained their FAW UEFA B licence.
We haven’t had a win as yet but drew 0-0 with the Dragonhearts. Both teams were equally matched and were most definitely on the pitch for the same reasons.
Some comments from one of our coaches:
“From a coach’s perspective we’re both incredibly proud and fortunate to be able to work with the ladies. It’s brilliant to see them getting something back from the game that most have them have spent so long giving to in a variety of ways.
“The development from day one has been incredible and the desire and buy in from the players makes the coaching a pleasure. The ladies continue to embrace not only the technique elements of the game but their growth has seen us move on to cover Welsh Way Principles in our sessions as well.
“It’s too simplistic to measure success in results, holistically we have a group of players that are keen and willing for every training session and fixture, we’ve weathered Covid lockdowns, we’ve got a waiting list of players to come on board, most importantly they are all having fun and loving football – that’s the victory.
“For the future, we look to engage with NEWFA and the FAW. Conscious of their desire to grow the female game we feel our experience can add input to that growth to ensure that the game remains accessible for all.”
4 Ladies and a ……….Football
by Nic Sciarrillo (player, committee member and media officer)
It was the Summer of 2019 when four mums from Mynydd Isa near Mold in Flintshire decided that they would start a ladies football team and, in that very moment, Mynydd Isa Spartans Ladies was born.
These mums had spent many an hour watching their children play for Mynydd Isa Football Club – it was now their time to quite literally put the boot on the other foot and get on the pitch.
However, no-one could have predicted what would happen next.
Week on week the numbers attending grew with ladies joining from all different walks of life and an age range spanning from 17 – 49.
The coaches had the ladies working on basic football skills and building fitness before moving on to matches and finding the right position for each player.
Monday training nights quickly became the highlight of the week for the players, an opportunity to meet with other like-minded women, learn new skills, get fit – an hour of escapism.
It is fair to say, most of the players hadn’t known each other prior to joining the team but all of a sudden, without a conscious awareness of what was happening, the team created an unbreakable bond, a determination to improve, an acceptance of each other and the ability to empower each other both on and off the pitch.
The first match was met with nerves, knowing how new they were to life on the pitch the team had no idea what to expect. Lifts shared on the way to the match would remind you of a school trip – the perfect mix of excitement and anticipation.
Those first few minutes on the pitch were described as nothing short of exhilarating, yes it was clear the skills of the other team were greater but the Spartans Ladies were in this together and their bond was visibly strengthening with every minute played.
The team have lost a lot of matches but their skills have improved massively as has their determination. The current coaching team of Michael, Jon and Andrew simply ‘get the team’ as did Nikki and Andy, the original founder and coach. They know that the reason the players are there is far bigger than a score on a sheet.
The World has been through a lot over the last 18 months and the Spartans Ladies Whatsapp group kept pinging throughout, providing a sixth sense when one of their own was struggling or when a laugh or two had to be shared.
Couch to 5km gave the team a focus during those long lockdown days as did the toilet roll football challenge.
No-one could have anticipated the incredible team that would be created during that summer of 2019.
The Spartans Ladies are far more than a score sheet, they empower one another and recognise each have different reasons for being there, they accept each other and celebrate the wonderful qualities of each and every player.
They have built a safe space and created a team that can call upon one another when the chips are down or when the flags are flying high.
Mynydd Isa Spartans Ladies