womens football

Introducing… Hythe & Dibden Womens Football Club!


We’re delighted to announce that our adult women’s partner club, Eling Ladies FC will now be known as Hythe & Dibden Womens Football Club!
Incredible news, that we now have the pathway to adult football for females in the area. Over the last 5 years we have seen the growth of girls football skyrocket, to the point where in the last few seasons we’ve been able to offer football to girls from the ages 5 to 18, with a girls only soccer school for year R and 1 girls, and a team at every age group from U7’s right through to U18’s. Several age groups now have multiple girls teams, including 3 girls teams at U10s!

Making our partnership with Eling Ladies FC more official, and bringing them under the Hythe & Dibden umbrella is an amazing milestone, and really puts Hythe & Dibden on the map as one of the leading providers of female football in Hampshire, and will soon be featuring in a female football case study for Hampshire FA!

Luke Smith has been passionate about womens football since he started Eling Ladies, and has been a driving force behind the development. As current Eling Ladies chairman, shall remain in control of the Women’s section as the new ‘Head of Womens Football’ and shall still remain as manager of the team.

Home games on the main pitch on the main pitch at the Hythe Garage Stadium, have access to the changing rooms, physio room, access to the clubhouse on Sundays for after match socialising and hosting of away teams, whilst also having access to the side pitch for Summer training.

Training will be at Applemore school, alongside the U18 girls, to create a close link and relationship between those looking to make the next step into adult football. We are really excited to be able to offer young girls the opportunity to train alongside the women, and be inspired by them!

And similarly, we are excited to get the Hythe & Dibden FC mens team training at Applemore next season, where we will be looking to do that same thing in terms of creating a pathway and giving U18s the opportunity and visibility on what the next step looks like.

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“We’ve been working with Eling Ladies for over a year now to create a pathway for girls into adult football, and couldn’t be happier with the result. The U18 girls that have played adult football with Eling this season have found a positive, nurturing, enjoyable and well run environment that aligns perfectly with our values as a Youth Football Club. To make this partnership official and connect with the mens team at the same time is fantastic for everyone involved, and for the community. With 170+ girls at Hythe & Dibden YFC currently and growing fast, it’s amazing to know that all the young girls coming through have an opportunity in the area to continue playing football, and enjoy all the benefits that it brings. A massive thanks to Luke Smith, Neil Wright, Steve Norris, Dave & Vanessa Cox, and everyone involved in making this happen. This is a huge step forward!”

James Golding

Hythe & Dibden YFC Chairman

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The future’s bright in green and white! 🇳🇬⚽️💪😁

Women’s football is growing, but not for the first time

Like the Euro’s did, the Women’s World Cup is putting female football in the spot light again, which is great to see. But why has it taken until now for women’s football to really take off?

With 11 girls teams including a girls only team in every youth football age group, and over 1/4 of the club now female, we are noticing a very strong shift in the participation of football at Hythe & Dibden YFC. Only ten years ago, we had a handful of female players signed on at the club. The sudden change is tangible and gathering pace, with no signs of slowing down.

Surely it can’t be the case that suddenly girls are more interested in playing than they used to be? Or that for some reason modern girls are better at playing the game?

If we rewind 100 years, women’s football was in a similar stage of ascendency. The First World War, with most men absent, opened the door for women to pick up the footballing mantle. By the time the men returned to the game, they were selling out stadiums, one game in 1920 getting a 53,000 sell out at Goodison Park with many other being turned away, and generating huge revenues.

But they were different times, and unfortunately prejudice was allowed to rear its ugly head. The FA banned women’s football, and all the progress was lost, which must have been heart breaking for those involved.

Read the full story here about How the FA banned women’s football in 1921 and tried to justify it.

Looking at the way they adopted football though, is it more to do with just having an opportunity? Or seeing it as acceptable? Or even just seeing it as something fun, that your peers and role models are doing?

Girls Football Development Secretary at Hythe & Dibden YFC, Steve Norris, has been pioneering the growth of girls football in the area for many years now, and sits on the committee for the Hampshire girls football league. He has some interesting observations about the reasons behind the recent upturn.

Girls football has grown both locally and worldwide through a combination of factors; exposure on media outlets has helped inspire girls to give footy a try, and this demand has been welcomed by grass roots clubs who now see similar interest levels from girls and boys alike.

I also see a huge snowball effect in girls locally who see their friends enjoying the game so much and come along as a result. A lot of the girls don’t watch football or play related computer games, so the first hand accounts given by their female peers is sometimes key to their decision making.

FA initiatives have also helped enormously with over 34000 girls moving through the Wildcats program, into girls only leagues which have exploded over the last 5 years.

Finally I’d like to point out the impact open minded parents have on the growth rate within the girls game. I’m pretty sure everyone now realises that football can benefit everyone equally and having parents who played a lot in their younger days, who now take time to volunteer or facilitate their child’s participation in the game, is crucial to the success we see today.

Steve Norris
Girls Football Development Secretary, Hythe & Dibden YFC

So the reality is there are multiple reasons for girls football seeing unprecedented growth. It’s not a 21st century phenomenon – but lets keep this momentum going, and make sure girls football is here to stay!



© Hythe & Dibden Youth Football Club  |  FA Affiliation Number 2022/23: Y-HAM8174  |  Privacy Policy  |  Data Protection  |  Website by Zap Creative

© Hythe & Dibden Youth Football Club
FA Affiliation Number 2022/23: Y-HAM8174
Privacy Policy  |  Data Protection

Website by Zap Creative