The players

Middlesex FA Host The Weetabix Wildcats Festival

Jim Taylor

Middlesex FA hosted the 3rd Annual Girls’ Wildcats Festival at Rectory Park on Saturday last, 1st July.   This successful and enjoyable event was first held in June 2019 and was re-introduced last year after the Covid enforced break.   The weather was ideal for summer football, dry but not too warm.

The purpose of the festival, in common with all Wildcats’ activities, is to encourage the girls to have fun and enjoy the beautiful game.   The morning’s activities were organised by Andy Perrin, the Middlesex FA Participation and Development Officer.   He was supported by three charming and knowledgeable ladies, namely Andrea Gooden (Middlesex FA Equal Game Ambassador), Leah Ambridge (FA Coach Mentor – Women & Girls) and Tiyanna Lewis (Middlesex FA Community Champion), who provided coaching and advice to the girls throughout the festival.

Seven teams in the U8-U11 age group attended and they all played each other once, giving a total of 21 matches of 10 minutes each.   Denham United pulled out on the day but fortunately Harefield had sufficient players available to provide another team, their third in total, thus preventing disruption of the timetable.   So, the competing teams were West Harrow Warriors, West Harrow Wolves, Harefield Reds, Harefield Blacks, Harefield Whites, Hope Church and Brent Schools.    

The matches were 5 v 5 (unless otherwise agreed by the teams), with rolling substitutions and did not have referees.   The players were encouraged to make their own decisions.   Andy Perrin was the pitch co-ordinator and timed the matches.   The team coaches were asked to support and encourage their players from the side-lines and offer guidance when needed.

The matches were non-competitive.   The scores were not recorded and league tables were not produced.

In the U5-U7 age group, just over 20 girls, from 3 different Wildcat centres attended.   As it was not feasible to play a series of matches, the organisers arranged some skill related activities for them.   They also had access to the free play area.

A very successful event was obviously greatly enjoyed by everyone involved.

Thank you to Chris & Jim for covering the event for us. Chris & Jim have picked out some of their favourite shots which can be seen in the above gallery. Chris has also very kindly provided a full album of imagery from the day.