Helpers appeal as soccer club sets up girls’ squad

The Oxford Times: Pictured are back from left Rachael Willis, Lizzie Foulkes, Megan Watson, Molly Baldwin, Vikki Turner, Nida Venckute, Amber Joseph and Shannon McDonnell;  Front, Shannon Hartree, Amber Bartlett and Hollie Cozier-Puttock Picture: OX64402 Antony Moore Buy this photo Pictured are back from left Rachael Willis, Lizzie Foulkes, Megan Watson, Molly Baldwin, Vikki Turner, Nida Venckute, Amber Joseph and Shannon McDonnell; Front, Shannon Hartree, Amber Bartlett and Hollie Cozier-Puttock Picture: OX64402 Antony Moore

A FOOTBALL club is on the hunt for volunteers with catering and admin skills following the launch of a new girls team.

Greater Leys Youth FC has a group of dedicated volunteers who organise seven teams for youngsters on the estate.

Now with a new team for girls aged 15 to 18-years-old on Monday evenings, a fresh band of helpers is needed.

It is hoped that a new £350,000 sports pavilion – an extension of Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre in Pegasus Road that will form a new building with changing rooms and other facilities – will boost the club.

Helpers are needed to run catering at the new pavilion and for general admin for the clubs that will use it, including Greater Leys Youth FC and the Oxford Blackbirds Football Club.

Ian Fieldwick, welfare officer and treasurer for Greater Leys Youth FC, said: “We need somebody to run the catering side of it and be there on match days to man it and do the food.

“That is what we would want and any volunteers to help with running the club. We are 100 per cent run by volunteers.”

There are between 10 and 15 regular helpers at the club, which launched in 2008.

Mr Fieldwick added: “A lot of us do two jobs. It is really trying to get more people involved. We want to provide football to more people and we can provide coaching courses. Volunteers need to have a passion for football.” The training sessions for girls are on Mondays from 6.30pm until 7.30pm at the floodlit pitch in Ashhurst Way, Rose Hill.

Mr Fieldwick said: “There are no facilities at all for training outside during the winter in Blackbird Leys.

“Up in Rose Hill they have floodlit pitches. That is something we are hoping we can have. At the moment it is changing rooms.” Construction on the new £7.2m leisure facility in Blackbird Leys started in July last year and it is due to open at the end of this year.

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The pavilion is also part of a £2.7m plan from Oxford City Council to build new pavilions and refurbish old ones across the city.

The Cuddesdon Way sports pavilion was condemned in 2005 because asbestos was found there.

Football Association qualified coaches are leading the training sessions for girls, which cost £1 per week.

There are already about 12 girls attending the training.

s For more information on the new team or to volunteer, call Ian Fieldwick on 07557020355.

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