HUNDREDS of people have signed a petition highlighting the cause of a Rhyl women’s football team.
The Lilies’ development squad are being refused entry to the North Wales Women’s Football League, due to the senior side’s involvement in the pyramid, which has been deemed “impractical” to chairman Bill Darwin.
Manager Tom Jamieson, said: “It’s unbelievable to think that in 2017 that we are still having to fight for women to play football.
“The main Rhyl Ladies team currently competes in the Orchard Welsh Premier Women’s League, the top league in Wales and the success of the team has inspired lots of young girls and senior ladies to start playing again.
“To help strengthen this further, a new development Team was set up in May this year after local girls/women aged 16 plus contacted us who wanted to get back into football. Instead of turning them away, volunteers stepped forward to coach and manage the ladies, who have grown in numbers over the past few months.
“As a development team we are hoping to reach out to girls at an age where their self-esteem can be at its most fragile, football has now been proven to provide a powerful boost in confidence. Being part of a football team gives girls a strong sense of self-esteem, helps them to overcome anxiety, makes them feel less self-conscious and crucially empowers them with the confidence to reach their goals.
“We are hoping to play an important role in bringing football and in turn its benefits to girls and ladies across Rhyl and its surrounding areas. We hope that our awareness will encourage even more girls and ladies to get involved with football.”
A huge social media campaign has been launched by the club to highlight the issue, and almost 500 people have signed a petition that will be presented to league officials at a later date.
The club have also secured a high profile friendly against Bala Town on Wednesday, November 22 at Maes Tegid as they continue to look for an avenue into a competitive league after the Football Association of Wales upheld their appeal two weeks ago, only for the NWWFL to challenge the governing body’s decision.
“I believed that the reason the League was established was to empower women to play football - and not to stop or delay them,” added Jamieson.
“This is a Women’s League who are stopping women from playing football with no relevant reason. Meanwhile our development team continues to train weekly and are disgusted by the way the League is treating them, a total injustice to women’s sport.”