Cawston to Holland – but message remains same for the women’s game

Red Rose ladies team. Picture: David Willmott.

Red Rose ladies team. Picture: David Willmott. - Credit: Archant

It's a long way from Enschede in the Netherlands to Cawston in North Norfolk – but there is a common thread between the two.

The Red Rose U11s team scoring the opening goal from a corner in a 2-1 cup victory against Taverham.

The Red Rose U11s team scoring the opening goal from a corner in a 2-1 cup victory against Taverham. Picture: David Willmott - Credit: Archant

Tonight in Enschede, England's women's team take on the hosts, with a place in the European Championship final at stake.

In Cawston, Red Rose FC are preparing for their 30th season playing competitive football, looking for someone to sponsor a storage container and for new players. Different on many levels, but the mission is the same: to promote the women's game. Seeing Steph Houghton's team doing so well at the Euros won't do Red Rose any harm.

'It will help us, yes,' said secretary David Willmott. 'There was a little bit of an upsurge when they got to the semi-finals of the World Cup two years ago. The current tournament is getting good publicity on TV and that is good for the game because that is right up there in people's faces and the better England do, the more girls will come through the junior side of clubs.'

Red Rose – named because of the role former Labour MP for Norwich North, Dr Ian Gibson, played in its formation – play at Cawston Primary School.

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'We have nothing to do with politics,' said Willmott. 'But we do have what we believe is a strong ethic, which is that we give the girls in Cawston and all the little villages around a chance to play football. We do have players from all over Norfolk – Norwich and bigger towns are well catered for.'

Red Rose have three teams – one adults and two juniors and it is the adults which could do with some extra players.

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'We have a Saturday club so all girls can come along even if they are not involved in the football side of things as in competitive matches,' added Willmott.

'All training and home games are at the school – we mark out any pitches the school require and have the use of a small clubhouse. It was derelict and its use was given free if we would repair and maintain it. We did it up and it's a great base with dressing rooms, toilets and a kitchen – and anything we as a club accumulate is usable by the school.'

Cawston firm Broadland Wineries sponsor the ladies team and Anglia Fostering Agency sponsoring a youth team. If you're interested in playing for Red Rose, contact Willmott on 07909 537237.

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