GIRLS' FOOTBALL IN NOTTINGHAMSHIRE
The Nottinghamshire Schools' FA has been one of the leading Schools' Associations in the country in the development of girls' football over the past 13 years. Originally the only competition organised was an Under 16 Knock Out Cup but this has now been extended to include competitions and tournaments at most age groups. For Primary aged pupils there are Individual Schools Tournaments at 7-a-side outdoors and 5-a-side indoors. Inter Association tournaments also take place at 7-a-side outdoors and 5-a-side indoors.
At Secondary level, the Under 16 knock-out is now played for the Hilary Swinn Cup which was presented to the Association by Steve Swinn, a former employee of the Education Department, in memory of his wife. The winners and runners-up from this competition, which is played mainly in the Autumn Term, go on to represent Nottinghamshire in the national rounds which are played after Christmas. Nottinghamshire representatives have been very successful at national level with West Bridgford School winning the national cup twice since 1995 and Valley School winning the national title in 1998. In 2003/04 Meden School reached the last eight of the competition and in 2008/09 Dukeries Community College narrowly lost 1-0 in the national semi-final in the competition which is open to girls from Years 10 and 11.
The County Schools' FA also now organises competitions, open to every school in the County and City, at the Under 14 age group - (The Active Sports Shield) and Under 12 level - (The West Bridgford Colts Trophy). Under 12's also have the opportunity of taking part in the national indoor 5-a-side competition, organised on District, Area and national levels. In 2008/09 Trinity School from Nottingham lost in the national final and in 2003/04, West Bridgford School finished third in the national finals which are held at the JJB Soccerdome in Derby: they lost on penalties in the semi-final against the eventual winners, Handsworth Grange School from Sheffield.
In addition to the events for individual schools, the Nottinghamshire Schools' FA organises an Under 16 Girls representative side jointly with the Notts FA. This side has an extremely consistent record in recent seasons, reaching the national quarter-finals of the English Schools' County Championship every season although only once progressing through to the semi-finals. In 2008/09 they lost on penalties at Ossett Town's ground to the eventual winners, West Yorkshire.
THE SQUAD IS ORGANISED JOINTLY BY THE NOTTINGHAMSHIRE SCHOOLS’ F.A. AND THE NOTTINGHAMSHIRE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION.