Beccles Town Football Club forms its first women’s team following Football Association grant

Beccles Town Ladies Football Club players Phoebe and Alice with Woody Bear in the club's first kit.

Beccles Town Ladies Football Club players Phoebe and Alice with Woody Bear in the club's first kit. Picture: Alan Runnacles - Credit: Alan Runnacles

With the recent World Cup drawing millions of television viewers, and the FA Cup Final being held at Wembley for the first time, women's football is currently enjoying a real revival.

Now, this resurgence has spread to Beccles, with the birth of Beccles Town Football Club's first ladies team.

While the Wherrymen have been developing promising female talent in its youth set-up for several years, once they reached senior level the girls were having to seek football elsewhere.

However, thanks to the Football Association's Grow the Game scheme, this will no longer be the case, as a £1,500 grant has meant the club has been able to found its first senior ladies team.

Alan Runnacles, Beccles Town Ladies manager, said: 'As a father of three girls I have been passionate about the game for some time and have coached girls teams for the last seven years.

'Setting up a ladies team is something I've wanted to do for a long time and I'm delighted to now be able to do that.'

The Grow the Game scheme is a programme funded by the FA allowing with the Football Foundation, and awards grants at grassroots level, particularly to create new teams.

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The scheme has been backed by England manager Gareth Southgate, who said he was delighted by the news of the new ladies team.

Through attracting new players and existing youth members, the squad already has 18 members, with the grant complementing sponsorship from the Ingate Freehouse.

The team have their first fixture on Sunday, August 27, when they host Gorleston at College Meadow.

After another friendly the following week against Sprowston, then begin their debut season in the Norfolk Women's and Girls League, starting in division two.

Mr Runnacles added: 'Lots of the girls in our team have been playing together in the youth teams for years, so they all know each other well, so they should settle together well.

'The club have been amazing and extremely supportive - they insisted we play our games on the first team pitch which means a lot.'

Anybody interested in getting involved in the team can contact Mr Runnacles on 07533139311.

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