OVER 100 local schoolgirls headed to the West Bromwich Albion Academy Dome for a tournament experience that will last long in the memory.
Hosted by The Albion Foundation, the youngsters took part in the local round of the English Football League Girls Tournament, with the winners getting to represent Albion at the regional round this month and potentially the national finals later in the year.
One of the 12 schools in the travelling contingent was Bishop Milner Catholic College, with the day being a calendar highlight for many of the pupils in attendance.
"Girls football is quite big at our school and within Dudley there aren't many competitive events for the girls to participate in," explained Rebecca Barnes, a PE Teacher at the college.
"Competitions like this are great for the girls to come up against other footballers of a good standard like themselves.
"We're really pleased to be involved," she continued.
"We've worked with them a lot this year for girls football as their coaches have lead coaching and leadership courses."
Getting to play in facilities used by Albion youth products is an experience that will last long in the memory for the footballers.
"When they walked into the dome and saw the lights and the size of it and knowing that various Albion teams train in here has a positive impact on the girls," said Lauren Affron, Girls Football Co-ordinator for the Foundation.
"They're getting to go out in a new team environment, they get loads of social skills from mixing with other players from various schools."
Naomi Sharp from Ormiston Academy took part in the tournament and had a memorable experience.
"I've really enjoyed playing football and being with my friends and to play against other teams," she said.
Naomi is also involved with the charity's Player Development Academy and says her skills have been enhanced through the programme.
"I'm very thankful to have found the Foundation, they've really helped me improve my game."
Bishop Milner Catholic College were the winners on the day and will represent Albion at Stoke City's bet365 Stadium later this month.
Good luck, girls!
For more information regarding the Foundation's girls football programme please email firstname.lastname@example.org.