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Female footballers from Deal recruiting ahead of Kent League bid

By Eleanor Perkins

Until about four weeks ago it had been 15 years since Jess Ellis played football.

The two things she missed about it the most were the fitness and social elements.

And that’s why the mum of one decided to set up her own football training sessions, in connection with Betteshanger Football Club.

Jess Ellis of Betteshanger Welfare Ladies

Now she and her fellow female footie lovers are searching for more players so they can enter the Kent League.

She said: “I’ve already made lots of new friends. It’s good fun and not at all cliquey. We have all become friends in the past few weeks and do activities outside of training.”

The group started from the humble beginnings on a community interest page on Facebook.

“I put a post up on Deal Watch asking who would be interested in doing it. Now, the group has 61 members,” Jess continued.

“The highest number of players we’ve had is 15, and we have about 11 ladies who train regularly. But to play in the Kent League, we need about 20 training regularly.”

Betteshanger Welfare Ladies on the pitch

Players need to be 18-plus, but Jess said the group didn’t “discriminate” against women who hadn’t played football before.

The group caters for people who want to come and train for fitness and to learn about the sport, but the main focus is getting match-ready.

She said that at the end of sessions people could join in games, but didn’t have to if they didn’t feel fit enough or they were new to football.

“You can kick a ball and run round a field but it does take some skill,” Jess said.

“You need to want to learn. If you turn up and train, you would just pick it up. Speaking as someone who is not that coordinated, it’s not that hard to pick up.

“The majority of us have played in the past. We’ve got the makings of a good team.”

Betteshanger Welfare Ladies in training

Betteshanger FC are putting Jess through her Football Association coaching course, meaning she will be able to run the sessions on her own, and the group may be able to take younger players at some time in the future.

Because the group is affiliated with the club, it has assumed the name Betteshanger Welfare Ladies and wears Betteshanger FC’s red and white kit.

Training for Betteshanger Welfare Ladies is every Saturday at 9am at Betteshanger Social Club. Until they enter the league in August, training is free with no joining fee. Sessions will then cost £3 with a £17 registration fee.

If you’re interested in finding out more, email: Jessicaellis2810@outlook.com

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