New pitch helps Wildcats roar
Girls’ football in West Oxfordshire is booming thanks to the launch of a state-of-the-art pitch.
The new facility has coincided with surge in membership for the Witney Wildcats with more than 70 girls now playing regularly on the surface at Henry Box School.
The Wildcats were only formed by the Oxfordshire FA in April and already several teams have come together and are competing successfully in the Oxford Mail Girls’ League.
The facility has seen a hi-tech artificial surface installed at a cost of almost £370,000 which was raised thanks to a grant from the Premier League & the FA Facilities Fund delivered by the Football Foundation and capital investment from West Oxfordshire District Council.
Owned by the Council and operated by its leisure provider GLL, it comprises a full size 3G football pitch which can be used for a variety of different football uses due to the multiple pitch markings, goalpost options and dividing net as well as associated changing rooms and social area.
Eight-year-old Alana Hermon plays every week for the Wildcats.
She said: “I really enjoy playing - it is great fun. I have also made lots of new friends and I think we are better than the boys!”
Alana’s mum Amy has taken on the role of coaching Alana and the rest of the Under-9s team.
She said: “We have about 15 girls in team and they are doing really well, even winning a trophy.
“The pitch is fantastic and from a parent’s point of view it is all under cover and very safe.”
Cllr Jeanette Baker, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Health at West Oxfordshire District Council, added: “It is fantastic to see such interest in girls’ football and I am delighted they are enjoying the new facilities.
“The investment is clearly paying off in ways we could not have imagined and I wish them every success for the rest of the season.”
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