AS part of the Lewisham Girls' Only Football Initiative, Lewisham Council and local women's club Addeyans have combined to increase playing opportunities for girls under the age of 12, writes Gordon Law.

Addeyans run weekly training sessions for girls on Tuesday evenings at the Power League ground in Catford, and the club is confident that these will create a junior side which will play in competitions, while acting as a feeder to the senior side. The club is also targeting local schools.

Top England footballer Julie Fletcher, who plays for Charlton, helped promote the initiative when she visited the club to congratulate the junior side on its impressive 6-1 victory against London Youth.

She said: “It's fantastic to see opportunities for girls to receive qualified football coaching and to play competitively at grass-roots level. I will have to start looking over my shoulder!”

Emily-Rose McLaren was in sensational form against London Youth, scoring five times, while Abi netted the other.

The Lewisham squad will be competing in this year's London Pathways League tournament and councillor Alyson McGarrigle said: “More and more girls are interested in playing. It is great that this initiative will give local girls the chance to get involved.”

The sessions are ongoing and open to girls aged under 12. For further details, call Brigid Daly on 0208 318 0403. For Power League enquiries, call 020 8690 1111.