Crooklands Casuals have partnered up with Barrow AFC after receiving funding from the Wembley National Stadium Trust to help start up a new girl’s section at the club.

The idea started last year when Crooklands coach, Lindon Cooper, was eager to encourage more girls to participate in the sport, after his daughter showed interest in it.

Despite trying to arrange coaching, they did not have the resources to effectively get the girls teams going until receiving the grant.

The club are now aiming to start up under-10, under-12 and under-14 teams for next season.

Cooper said: said: “We won the grant from the Wembley National Stadium Trust, and so signed a contract with Barrow AFC for 12 months to help develop coaching and the girl’s team.”

The Wembley National Stadium Trust’s annual income is around £1 million per annum, which they use to make grants to enable the widest possible participation in various community sports activities. The training sessions have been taking place at the Casuals’ Longlands Park ground for three weeks so far.

Cooper said: “We are eager to get girls involved who may not have ever properly played football before. Girl’s football is defiantly growing in the area, especially with the Women’s World Cup around the corner.”

The girl’s section is a safe place for girls to come and practice, separate to the boys training, where they can lean and develop their skills comfortably.

Cooper recalled knowing Manchester City and England footballer, Georgia Stanway, calling her an “inspiration” who is helping encourage girls from the area to get involved in football. Last month, she was named PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year.

The club welcomes girls from ages nine to 14, with sessions taking place at Longlands Park, Dalton every Friday at 5pm. For more information, contact Lindon Cooper on 07833 229430.