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Coach provides boots for girls football team
Buy this photo » Barton Girls football team coach Samantha Bone, back row with sponsor Carl Room, has shelled out money herself to help the side. Pictures: OX 55344 Steve Wheeler/Ed Nix
SOME of them had never kicked a football before.
Then they lost their first three games and didn’t have enough football boots to go around.
But determined coach Samantha Bone spent £20 of her own money to provide her players with sports drink bottles as well as gathering shin pads and boots for the squad.
Miss Bone was inspired to set up the team for daughter Chelsea Engerer, 12, who had no side to play for.
The 37-year-old also wanted to keep youngsters away from antisocial behaviour and help them get fit.
The under-12s team – which features girls from Cheney School, Wood Farm School and Wheatley Park School – play in the Oxford Mail Girls Football League.
Miss Bone, a catering assistant at Cheney School, said: “We started with players that have never kicked a football before and they have turned out to be some of the star players of the team.
“They are all from different backgrounds and they are not walking round the streets. “The main issue is that most of us are single parents so the football boots were given to us by friends and family.”
Their first friendly fixture ended in a 13-1 defeat by Didcot Casuals, while their first league game ended in a 10-1 loss to Tower Hill Vixens under-12s Red and the third match was a 19-0 reverse to Brackley Town under-12s.
They only had eight registered players for the first two 11-a-side games, and hope to have 10 players for their next game against Tower Hill Blues in Witney on Saturday.
Parents approached businesses in the Headington area for help with kit this summer.
And McDonald’s came to the rescue to provide kit, balls and cones in time for the girls’ first official league fixture.
Miss Bone, from Abingdon Road, Oxford, is currently taking a coaching course, and is helped by fellow coach Jamie Smith and manager Laura Jackson.
Deborah Morris, mum of captain Mya Morris, 11, said: “Some of the kids didn’t have football boots, so Samantha provided them with boots and water bottles.
“They are going out totally as the underdogs.
“She makes them certificates after the game – for being part of the first ever girls team in Barton.”
Miss Morris, 38, a reception manager at Temple Street Dental Practice, spoke of her daughter’s delight at getting involved in the team.
She added: “She said there’s nothing to do other than watching the boys play football. Most of them have no football experience.
“We’re hoping that after training they might get a draw – if not win a game.”
Cheney School pupil Mya said: “We do good training and the coaches are strict, but the activities we do – like the teamwork games – are fun at the same time, so we’d like more people to enjoy it rather than sitting around at home.”
The team regularly train on a Thursday night, and have also recently started training Saturday mornings.
lAnyone interested in joining the Barton United Girls team should contact club secretary Jan Rose on 01865 452616.