TIGER TALES: #thesegirlscan

It was about this time last year when I first heard the whispers around our Club that the Club was looking to introduce a girls only football team. Like most people, I was aware that the profile for women’s football was rising, largely due to the success of the women’s national team. All the women in my family are massive football fans including my daughter who had alway wanted to play for a football team.
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U11s in their first tournament, June 2017

Dukinfield Tigers received some funding from Sport England with the aim of holding on to U14s players and starting a new girls team. The first step was to search for volunteers to coach a girls training session indoors at Astley each week with the hope of starting the first girls football team in Dukinfield. Unfortunately, after a number of weeks, no one had come forward and after some intense pressure from my daughter and a number of drinks one evening, I decided I would get in touch with our Chairman and offer my help. Initially the plan was to step in until other volunteers came forward as I was currently quite busy jointly coaching the Tigers U14s boys team…
Our first drop-in training session started the following week with 8 girls attending. The following week we went up to 10 and within the next couple of months we had over 20 girls coming from all over Tameside. The girls varied from school Year 2 up to Year 8 and turned up week in and week out. During the summer we entered two teams into a summer football tournament one at U10s and one at U11s. The day was a great success and it gave the girls their first taste of competitive football. Girls running
We knew at this point the next step for the Club was to register our first ever girls football team and I’m pretty sure it was the first ever girls football team in Dukinfield. We joined the North Manchester Girls Football League at the start of the season in the U12s category. The club supplied the girls brand new kits and training tops for the start of the season which brought massive joy to the girls having their own kits and squad numbers.
12 months have  now passed and I am still coaching the girls and having so much fun doing so. We now have two coaches coaching the girls and we will be entering a second team in to the league at the start of next season. The girls are going from strength to strength and I’d strongly advise any girls looking to get into football to come and have a look Dukinfield Tigers. I’d also recommend to any parent or volunteers out there to get involved: you’ll be so surprised at how much enjoyment you get from making so many youngsters happy.
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U12s Girls Team, November 2017

This Tiger Tale was written by Nick Hartigan. Nick is the Girls U12s and Boys U15s Coach. His daughter plays in the girls U12s team.
He can be contacted on 07498 771854 or nickhartigan@ymail.com
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TIGER TALES: Magical Moments – A lesson in great sportsmanship

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I read with interest recently an article on the Grassroots Football Site (www.grf-football.co.uk) about a child deemed ‘not good enough’ by his previous club who was chosen to take a penalty by his new coach. The reaction of the whole team when the penalty kick went in was a truly ‘magical moment.’

Since reading this, I made a personal vow to look out for these magical moments and have encouraged our coaches and the parents to spot them (make them?!). I didn’t have to wait long. It happened today!

Our team of U12s are playing in a challenging Summer League in East Manchester. We were well beaten last week and hoping for an improvement this week.

3-0 down just before half time, Callum scored a looping kick over the keeper to bring us closer at 3-1. Shortly after half-time our team were on the up, playing towards the parents behind the goal. Callum received the ball near the edge of the box and struck it so sweetly, it was destined for the top of the goal. The power and accuracy were second to none…as was the fingertip save from the keeper that took it over the bar. The parents quickly congratulated the opposition keeper in unison and Callum went across to shake the keeper’s hand, before getting ready for the corner!

Our team improved this week and Callum  went on to score another goal, late in the game. It would have been a glorious hat-trick! But I won’t remember the result or the possible hat-trick. I will remember the reaction of the parents and Callum – a magical moment of great sportsmanship from our club. What it’s all about, don’t you think?

This Tiger Tale was written by Tiger’s parent, John Taylor. His eldest son plays for Dukinfield Tigers U12s and youngest son has just started training with the U8s.

Interested in writing your own Tiger Tale? Contact via: sarahjohn.taylor@gmail.com