Goalkeeper welcomes proposal for Camden & Islington girls’ league
PUBLISHED: 17:10 13 April 2016 | UPDATED: 15:51 14 April 2016
There’s no hiding place for goalkeepers at any level, but that’s even more the case when you’re the only girl in your team.
In fact, CM Futsal Under-nines keeper Gracie-May Spencer-Adams isn’t just the sole girl in the team – she is one of only two registered to play in the entire Camden & Islington Youth League.
The nine-year-old has played for CM Futsal for the last 18 months, with coach Carlos Santos arranging specialist goalkeeping coaching to assist her development.
But, while she enjoys being part of the team, Gracie-May is hoping that plans for the league to introduce a girls-only competition next season come to fruition.
She said: “The team was recommended by friends and I love playing in a boys’ team. I always wanted to be a goalkeeper and I like to tell the boys what to do!
“But I would like to play in a girls’ team in a girls’ league. I think it is really good to promote girls football and there are not enough teams or leagues around.
“Boys get more opportunities to play than girls. Sometimes opponents look at me and say ‘we are going to beat you because you’re a girl’.
Gracie-May, who lists Arsenal’s Petr Cech and Manchester City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart as her role models, has been interested in football since she was six.
And her enthusiasm for playing the game increased further after her elder brother, centre-back Bailey, gained a place in Arsenal’s academy Under-15 squad.
“When I found out my brother was going to be in the academy at Arsenal, I was so jealous,” she added. “I would love to be at an academy too as I love football.
“I watched the Women’s World Cup last year and that’s also inspired me to play, especially Marta the Brazilian striker – she was just so good and a goal she scored was one of the best I had ever seen.”
League secretary Karen Greene is hoping to change the massive gender imbalance among the players involved in youth games at Market Road, starting with a free skills and coaching session for girls later this month.
The event will be held at Market Road on Friday April 29, between 6pm and 8pm, to coincide with National Girls’ Football Week, with similar sessions to follow on a weekly basis until mid-June.
She said: “We’ve got 1,900 boys aged seven to 16 who are registered to play in the league, yet only two girls and at the moment there’s nowhere for them to go.
“We want girls to know they can play football in a safe and controlled environment and this is all about giving them the opportunity to do that.”
For more information, call 07785 224 888.