By: Miriam Amrani, BA History and African Studies
SOAS Women’s Football is back this year looking to get as many women at SOAS playing football. We are an inclusive team that is open to all, as we work on developing existing players and as well as helping ladies who are new to football to get into it. A Guardian article written in November of this year spelt out how women have been excluded or discouraged from playing football and rugby. Sometimes getting into the sport can be difficult, especially if you are inexperienced or have never really had the opportunity to give it a go. At SOAS Women’s Football, we are trying to break down those barriers as we want to get as many people playing as possible to show people how fun playing football can be. Anyone who is interested in joining the team, getting back into football or giving it a try is more than welcome and we would love to meet you whether you’re interested in playing competitively or not.
We are an inclusive team that is open to all, as we work on developing existing players and as well as helping ladies who are new to football to get into it
University can be a stressful place at times. Football can be an excellent form of stress relief and a highly effective break from rigorous academics (final-year students and postgrads, we are looking at you). The football pitch is also a great place to make friends and develop confidence both on and off of the ball. The team hosts socials, post-match meals and random little meetups which can be a great way of getting to know people from around London and can be a little less daunting than approaching people in the JCR or corridors.
Last year, we had a really good squad with a range of players of different abilities and skill and this year we are back with a new group of players that are equally talented. We managed to finish second in our league last year so we are hoping to win it all this year. So, if you are looking to play competitively we definitely have something for you.
SOAS is lucky to be an international university and that diversity is reflected in the players that we have. Some of our players are from places such as the USA, China, Malaysia, France, Norway, Sweden and Jordan. But we don’t just have a range of nationalities, we also have a range of experience in footballers. Some of the best players in the squad are those that have only just started playing football recently as well as those who are getting back into the game after a few years away.
Our coach, Mani, is a goalkeeping specialist who has years of experience developing players at all levels, including working in the Arsenal development camps which are run locally. Mani has been working on developing training drills and skill-based work to help develop us as a team in order to compete in our league and to progress as individuals. We are also lucky enough to train off Caledonian road, on the Market Road 3G pitches. These artificial pitches are great to play on as they are perfect all year round, enabling us to develop passing and skills based ball movement with no mud to be seen.
So far this season, we have only played one match but as we get closer to Christmas our matches will start to be back to back. Hopefully, this will mean back to back wins for us! Our matches are played on Sundays with home matches played at Market Road and away matches located across London.
If you have any questions or queries, don’t hesitate to get in touch with myself or Lois, the co-captains.