Women Growing Football in Wales’ Colleges
Trials for the Welsh Colleges Women’s Football Squad took place on Friday 16 October, with 180 ambitious players hoping to follow last year’s top talents who have since gone on to be selected for the Welsh Senior Football Squad.
Women’s football in Welsh colleges is growing at pace, especially following the introduction of fast-paced 7 a-side format. The Welsh Colleges trials, which formed part of the second Welsh Colleges Football Festival, hosted at the Pen Y Darren Park, grew this year to include 14 teams from colleges across Wales.
The strong team from Coleg y Cymoedd won the Festival, winning the hard-fought final against The College Merthyr Tydfil on penalties.
The Festival showcased students’ leadership and team skills both on and off the field. Organised by Welsh Colleges Sport, sport students managed the Festival on the day, overseeing registrations, refereeing and all volunteering roles.
Welsh Colleges Sport Coordinator, Rob Baynham, said: “It’s really exciting to see a growth in sport among young women and to have such a large number of college teams being fielded for the Festival. It’s a showcase, too, of how well young people can organise sporting events and provide sporting opportunities for their peers. Playing, organising, leading, participating and supporting - the Festival has it all.”
The best players will be selected for the Welsh Colleges Sport national women’s team, with further training camps and fixtures through the year. Last year saw two Coleg y Cymoedd players go on to represent Wales at U17 level. Two players who have been featured on the U17 team, Chloe Lloyd and Ffion Price, have since made it through to the Welsh Senior Squad.
Ffion Price said: “Playing football for my college and the Welsh Colleges Sport national team were great springboards for me. Last year I was fortunate to be selected for the U17s Wales Women’s Football Squad in Lithuania, then for the U19s competing in the UEFA qualifiers in Turkey, and this year I was selected for the senior Wales squad against Croatia. I get such a buzz out of the game, and I couldn’t be happier to champion women’s football in Wales.”