Glasgow Times

New women’s club is


ROS Barr ie had never kicked a football in her l i fe before she joined Glasgow Phoenix FC. “At the age of 39 I went along to training and I was immediatel­y made to feel both welcome and accepted,” she says.

“What’s special about Phoenix is that everyone works hard to create this fun, welcoming environmen­t. It’s not about your skills, it’s about your passion.”

Ros is now captain of the East End’s new football club for women, which will run five and seven- aside teams out of Riverbank Primary School in Dalmarnock.

Anti- bigotry charity Nil by Mouth has become one of its first sponsors and 30 women already attend the Tuesday night training sessions.

Ros adds: “It’s a big opportunit­y for women in Glasgow to come along and get involved in football. The sport is growing and we want people to join more than a team but also a community.

“We wanted to set up a club that was run by the players, for the players, allowing everyone to have a say in what happens.

“Football should be a highlight of your week, seeing your pals, running around getting those lovely endorphins going, maybe a win at the end. But the motivation should always be about fun.”

Legal cashier Liz Brawley is one of the founding members.

“I went along originally to support my nephew Andy, who’s the coach, and of course it snowballed from there and I’ve ended up doing all sorts,” explains the 66- year- old, who is club treasurer.

“I’d never played football before, when I was at school girls just didn’t have that opportunit­y.”

Liz jokes: “I like watching it, always have, of course now, I watch with different eyes because I’m an expert.

“Not really of course, but I find myself saying ‘ oh, that’s a good tackle’ or ‘ why did they take that shot’.”

The club is capitalisi­ng on the huge surge of interest in women’s football in Scotland in recent years,

thanks in part to the fantastic success of the national women’s team, which has seen thousands of women take up the sport as players, coaches and volunteers.

“We’re open to all ages and abilities,” says Liz, adding with a laugh: “I mean, I’m useless, but I love it and that’s the point. I’m giving it a go and everyone is really nice and supportive. I am happy just to train and play in inter- squad games at the end of training.

“We have some fantastic players, who are very competitiv­e, but the rest of us are there for a bit of fun. It’s a real buzz, meeting up with other women of all ages and background­s, women you probably wouldn’t meet elsewhere. It’s a lovely safe envi ronment too, where people can just be themselves.”

She adds: “And it is a lot of fun. I used to wonder why my husband loved his five- a- side football so much but now I get it.

“We’re just in it for the love of football.”

Nil by Mouth was set up by former Glasgow Times Scotswoman of the Year Cara Henderson and works to bring people from different faiths and traditions together.

During 2022 more than 5000 young people participat­ed in its United Against Division programme in schools across west central Scotland. The charity is providing the sponsorshi­p of Glasgow Phoenix FC as part of its ongoing Kiss Bigotry Goodbye campaign, which seeks to highlight the positive side of football in Scotland.

Nil by Mouth director Dave Scott said: “We’ve always believed that football should be a game for everyone and over the last 10 years there has been phenomenal growth in the women’s game at all levels.

“We are delighted to provide sponsorshi­p to Glasgow Phoenix as it establishe­s itself in the city. It’s been amazing to hear from the players just how much they get out of the taking part and it’s clearly a club that wants to be as welcoming and all- encompassi­ng as possible.

“We hope to be able to continue to support the players in the months ahead as part of our Kiss Bigotry Goodbye campaign which seeks to promote football as a vehicle for positive change in society.”

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 ?? ?? Ros Barrie is the captain of the new team, and below, the players during training at Dalmarnock
Ros Barrie is the captain of the new team, and below, the players during training at Dalmarnock
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 ?? ?? Liz Brawley, left, says everyone in the club is supportive
Liz Brawley, left, says everyone in the club is supportive

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