BURTON Albion Ladies travel to Leafield Athletic today for a fixture that takes place on International Women’s Day.
This FA Women’s National League Division One Midlands fixture will be played on an important day in the calendar for championing equality.
International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
Over the last year, Burton Albion has made significant strides in promoting women’s football and creating a pathway for girls to make progress in the game.
Burton Albion Ladies' team came under the club umbrella in 2019 and has now linked with Burton Albion Community Trust’s development programme for girls’ football to create a seamless pathway.
The senior ladies team play in the FA Women’s National League which has a rising profile and gives players the chance to test themselves against other senior clubs such as Wolverhampton Wanderers and Doncaster Rovers.
The ladies team matches are previewed on the Burton Albion website alongside the senior men’s team fixtures and also feature in every matchday programme.
The ladies wear the same home and away shirts as the Burton Albion men and have their own sponsorship deal with Infinity IT Solutions.
Burton Albion Ladies play their home games at Rocester FC, with free admission to games for Burton Albion season ticket holders.
The ladies team travel to Leafield tomorrow looking for points against a team who are two places above them in the current table.
Ella Doocey is the Burton Albion Ladies team captain, but has been involved with the Community Trust and Burton Albion since she joined from the junior ranks at the age of 16. She has seen the development of women's football at both Burton Albion and widely across national and international levels, along with more media coverage.
The Burton Albion Ladies skipper said: "I feel the profile of women's football has increased over recent years, especially since the success of the Lionesses in the SheBelieves Cup in 2019.
"Over the past few seasons, the media coverage of women's football has risen and more programmes such as the Wildcats programme run by BACT are enabling more girls to get involved in football from a young age.
"I have been making regular appearances at the Wildcats sessions on Wednesday nights, along with some of the older girls' teams. These have given me more confidence in helping out with coaching, but also getting to know the younger players aspiring to progress eventually up to the first team.
"Burton Albion has enabled me to progress from under-15s through to the first team, where I have now become the captain. It means a lot for me to have been given the role and responsibility of captaining the side, especially because I looked up to the previous captain who mentored and helped me greatly when I came into the first team squad at 16-years-old."
Lisa Beard, BACT’s Community Operations Manager, said: “We have made significant strides with women’s football over the last year.
“There is now a clear pathway through the age groups for girls who want to play football and make their way through to the senior team, who are currently playing in step four of the women’s game.
“The senior ladies team has a growing profile and women’s football has a bright future at Burton Albion at all levels.
“What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than by shouting about women’s football and let’s hope the ladies team can bring back three points from Leafield tomorrow.”
Leafield Athletic v Burton Albion – Sunday, March 8, kick off 2pm
Dickens Heath Sports Club, Rumbush Lane, Earlswood, Solihull, B94 5NA