Leyland’s own women’s team

Exciting Times: Steph Houghton of Leyland Red Rose Ladies FC
Exciting Times: Steph Houghton of Leyland Red Rose Ladies FC

Growing interest in women’s football has reached Leyland, where a new open-age team is being set up.

Leyland Red Rose Ladies FC was founded by Tony Cummins and Steph Houghton, who is a qualified coach and has previously played for Preston North End Ladies.

The new team are looking for a pitch, and appealing for local people to help them get off the ground, having trained at Worden Park for the last fortnight.

Manager Cummins said: “We need a pitch and some sponsors to help cover our costs. To hire a pitch, some people wanted £15 an hour, and I’d need to book two hours.

“That’s just for matchdays too – it doesn’t even cover the cost of training.”

Cummins added: “We’re currently going around the schools and colleges, and the talent seems to be out there.

“If we can get a team in Leyland, they’ll be able to keep playing after they finish at school.

“We’ve already got two girls coming up from Preston to play too, and the standard at our training sessions so far has been very good.”

The club’s main aim is to find a pitch in Leyland, so they don’t have to travel outside the town to train and play.

They will then work towards applying for the Lancashire Ladies League, where they hope to start playing competitively next season.

The tie-in with Leyland Red Rose, who run two men’s teams and have a history going back more than 100 years, means the new team will get strong support off the pitch.

Chairman Duncan Neilson said: “Steph’s a good lass. She comes down to watch her brother Kevin play for our first team, and everyone here respects Steph as a very good footballer.

“We’ve got a stable background and have that experience working towards the first game of the season, which will be valuable.”

Leyland Red Rose Ladies train every Thursday at Worden Park, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

Anyone aged 16 or above is welcome.

For more information, contact Tony Cummins on 07939 007662.