Praise for Suffolk FA’s final girls’ Player Development Centre Festival

Some of the girls who took part in Suffolk FA's Player Development Centre Festival

Some of the girls who took part in Suffolk FA's Player Development Centre Festival - Credit: Archant

About 250 girls took part in a football festival organised in Suffolk to give females the chance to represent their county while developing their game in a learning environment.

Suffolk FA’s final Player Development Centre Festival took place on Wednesday at Sporting 87’s Victory Ground in Bury St Edmunds, where young players from the under-nines age group through to the under-16s took part.

The festival saw players from Essex PDC, Northampton FC, Bedfordshire FA and Essex Centre of Excellence Under-Nines take to the pitch.

Women’s Super League and Millwall Lionesses goalkeeper Sarah Quantrill also attended to meet the next generation of women footballers.

Suffolk FA girls’ and women’s development officer Paige Shorten, who organised the festival, said: “It was great to host the Suffolk FA Girls PDC Festival at Sporting 87 on Wednesday. The facility and staff from Sporting 87 were superb on the day and supported the county FA brilliantly. I would also like to thank all counties for being involved on the day.

“All players on the day were a credit to their county FAs and it was apparent that all players enjoyed themselves from the moment they arrived to the moment they left.”

Ms Shorten paid particular thanks to the Suffolk FA Girls’ Player Development Centre staff who she said have been “fantastic in helping to develop girls’ football in Suffolk”.

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The festival also gave young referees a chance to gain experience with support from Suffolk FA referee development officer Colin Hills.

Representatives from participating county FAs have paid thanks to the organisers for hosting the event.

Emma Burden, of Essex County FA, said: “Everybody involved had a great time and I thought it was a great festival.”

Julia Robathan, of Bedfordshire County FA, added: “Everyone played as much football as possible which was good. The facility was lovely – the changing rooms and pitches and referees were great.”

And George Joyce, of Northampton FC, said: “I just wanted to say thank you for hosting such a well-run festival day yesterday. It was by far the best one we have attended this season.”

Suffolk FA chief executive Laura Smith said it was “great to see the girls enjoying themselves”.

Information will be distributed to clubs, leagues, parents and players in the coming weeks about the future programme of the girls’ “talent pathway”.

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