AFC Bournemouth Women are inspiring young girls to keep getting involved in football in the local community.
The women’s game continues to grow across the UK following England’s success in the 2022 Women’s Euros, where they beat Germany in the final at Wembley.
More locally here in Bournemouth, there is a lot of community work taking place to increase the number of young girls taking part in playing football.
Abby Jones, who is a Bournemouth women’s first team player and community football coach in Dorset said: “As a female footballer myself, being able to inspire other young girls is very rewarding.”
However, it has taken a lot of time for the women’s game to be in this constant growing position.
Another Bournemouth player, Olivia Venditto, said: “My football journey started a lot later than others at about 11 years old and this was playing for the school team, which was all boys, I was the only girl who was in the team.”
Jones said: “I think there should be community work in every school. Whether that be sports or other activities.
“All the community work is having a huge positive impact as it is bringing young people together.”
To cap off all the great work, Bournemouth Women were handed the opportunity to play at the Vitality which saw a record attendance, the official number being 6,805, more than double the previous record of 3,067.
The game was against Portishead Town FC and there was something for everyone, from a pre-match DJ to a performance by Bournemouth University’s BU Falcons cheerleaders.
The game ended in a convincing 4-0 win for the hosts. Venditto said: “Playing at the Vitality was such an incredible experience which will definitely be remembered for a very long time.
“More clubs should be given the opportunity to showcase women’s football in men’s stadiums.”
One of BU’s own cheerleaders Rosie Heath, who performed pre-match, said: “It was great to see the amount of people who came to watch, I think it needs to happen more often.”