European dreams are next for Cambridge City girls' under-12s’ double winners
When you have completed domestic domination, the only thing to do next is mount a European challenge – and that is exactly the aim of Cambridge City under-12 girls.
The youngsters swept all before them last season, winning both the national futsal competition and the Pitchero Aces tournament.
The team’s ability meant that although they were 10-years-old, they played a year up at under-11s, and many had come from a background of playing football for boys’ sides alongside representing City.
“They play an older age group to push them basically,” said manager Sean Marriott, whose assistant is Matt Brodie.
“Last season was a real eye opener. The year they had was absolutely phenomenal, they wiped the floor with every team that was put in front of them.
“The only game they lost in the whole of last season was when they played in the national Aces tournament to Billericay 3-1 in the heats, who we went on to beat 1-0 in the final.
“It’s pretty good going by any stretch of the imagination.
“With the national Aces final, we went there as the club said why don’t you go and have a go. The club’s expectation wasn’t for us to go there and win it. We played against teams like Preston North End, Derby, Leicester and the community programmes of these bigger clubs and won the final 1-0.
“What an amazing achievement, but what it does suggest is that we can compete at that level and so that’s why we’re eager to go back this year to make sure it wasn’t a fluke.”
Now at the under-11 age group, but playing at under-12s, their targets are again on the national futsal and Aces tournaments, while they will be playing against Norwich academy sides this half-term, but the management team wanted to extend their ambitions.
The Barcelona event is an international competition, but tends to feature more European clubs, with sides from Spain, Finland, Ireland, France, Norway and Poland all having previously played.
“These girls are more than just our players, we’re trying to give them life experiences as well,” said Marriott.
“What a way to enrich a 10 or 11-year-old’s life than taking them abroad to play in a football tournament.
“It’s creating memories for the girls, developing them as individuals and it’s great for the city as well as the club because we’ve got some very successful teams at City.”
It will cost around £4,500 for the team to travel to Barcelona to compete, and they are currently crowdfunding, while Marriott and Brodie are intending to do a fundraising skydive.
For more information or details about sponsoring the side, email Sean Marriott at email@example.com.
More by this authorMark Taylor