Women’s Football Weekend: Why do the ballers of Berkshire play football?



Caversham United Women pre-game huddle before they face QPR in the Vitality Women's FA Cup Photo: Oakmist Photography


On Women’s Football Weekend 2021, we bring you all the fantastic reasons why the female ballers of Berkshire play football.

“My dad was the main reason I started playing football, he used to play and would encourage me to have a kick-about with him. I was soon hooked and every weekend you’d find me recreating the goals from MOTD at the local park or in the garden (usually pretending to be Ruud Van Nistlerooy!). I absolutely love being part of a team, nothing beats the feeling of a game day and experiencing the highs of winning. I definitely appreciate these things more now, as I was told in 2017 that I wouldn’t be able to play again following hip surgery.”

Emma Hopkins, Caversham United Women

“I started playing football since I was a kid. (not professionally as I didn’t get the opportunity in my country where I am from. In my country the football for ladies was not popular at all). I have passion for football. It helps me to stay fit, healthy and full of energy in my life.”

Suela Toro, Shinfield Rangers Women

“I play football because it’s a great sport, it is great exercise, it’s really fun and it allows me to hang out with my teammates regularly, many of whom have become good friends too.”

Kirsty Currier, Taplow United Ladies

“For the social aspect, as a form of exercise and to relax (de-stress)”

Woodley United
Kiah Owen S4K
S4K FC Berks County Ladies vs Mortimer. Photo: Andrew Batt.

“Having not played for over 10yrs when I was at Uni, I got back into football last August. I lost my Dad to cancer in the midst of covid and by chance saw an advert. Playing football gave me a small escape and something to focus on. It also provided me with a lot of support that the team had no idea of at the start, I couldn’t ask for a better team! It’s exciting to see the development of girl’s/ladies football, when I was 13/14yrs our team had to fold as the teams were getting so far away but thankfully times have changed!”

Debs Gardiner, S4K FC Berks County Ladies

“It motivates me to stay fit and push myself, I also enjoy being part of a team.”

Lisa Phillips, Ascot United Ladies

“It’s the sport I love and love playing it along side my friends”

Paige Hunt, Woodley United

“I have always enjoyed football from an early age as I was brought up with two big brothers and a Dad as a football coach so at the age of 4 I knew no different and began to play in a local boys team. I later came back to playing in my 20’s due to a love for the game. I play football for the fitness, fun and the friendships that are formed when being part of a team.”

Ciara Molloy, S4K FC Berks County Ladies

“I didn’t have a chance to play sports when I was little. When I discovered football in my teen years, I realised it’s a perfect balance of exercise, creativity, fresh air & team spirit. I love it.”

Angel D’Cruz, Winnersh U18 & Woodley United Ladies

“I enjoy it. It’s a good stress reliever. I use it for exercise and social”

Lana Cashmore, Shinfield Rangers Women

“I’ve played football for 10+ years and it’s a passion of mine. The coaches are amazing and are constantly motivating us to be better both on the pitch and out. The team atmosphere makes me feel like a part of something. Wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Tilehurst Panthers Women
Sophie Measham, Woodley United Ladies. Photo: Andrew Batt / contentello.smugmug.com
Sophie Measham, Woodley United Ladies. Photo: Andrew Batt / contentello.smugmug.com

“I play football because I just simply love the sport! I’ve always been really fit and active through running cross country as a youngster/teenager but football has always been my sport! As I’m getting older, I’m just as competitive but it’s all about enjoying it now and I love the social side to it! I love the club, the manager and the girls. They make it for me!”

Mollie Haines, Woodley United Ladies

“To keep fit”

Ascot United Ladies

“I’ve played since I was younger and I’ve continued to play because I love it and I now want to share my love for Women’s Football with my Daughter, who motivates me to keep playing. I enjoy the competitiveness that a game brings and all the great things that come with building a team like; socials, training and encouraging/supporting each other on and off the pitch. I’ve met some great people through football”

Sammy Sadler, S4K FC Berks County Ladies

“My dad encouraged me to have a ball at my feet as soon as I could walk and he’s been my biggest fan ever since. I will always love the game.”

Nadine Roberts, Slough Town Ladies

“When I first started playing football, there were no girls teams. I was kicking a ball with my Dad at one of my brothers games and the manager of the Under 8s invited me to join in. Initially the league said no girls were allowed but that manager said either she plays or I leave. Thanks to him, I’m still playing now.”

Woodley United Ladies

“I started playing football because I spent my weekends watching my brothers and sister playing and wanted to be just like them! I’ve been kicking a ball since walk but I don’t think I went to my first ‘proper football session’ until I was about 5 and since then I’ve always been in love with the game… even when I kicked the ball over the garden fence and got in trouble from mum… Still to this day I play football for the love and enjoyment! I have so many positive memories from goals to league and cup titles. I’ve met my best friends through football and I wouldn’t want it any other way!”

Freya Johnson, Ascot United Ladies
Ascot United celebrate a goal against Oxford City in the Third Round Qualifying of the Vitality Women's FA Cup Photo: David Bell
Ascot United celebrate a goal against Oxford City in the Third Round Qualifying of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup Photo: David Bell

“Great way to keep fit – the level we play and and the intensity always drives you to better yourself. It’s a great way of meeting new people and building friendships”

Clara Stringer, Woodley United Ladies

“You’ve got to be a special kind of crazy to run around a field on a Sunday chasing a ball. Football is the place where all of those like minded, crazy folk can get together. It’s an amazing form of escapism from the monotonous work week. It keeps you active. Plus, kicking a ball half way across the field is a healthy way to release any frustrations.”

Michaela Mulvey, S4K FC Berks County Ladies

“I started at the age for 14 with one of my friends and I have never been able to leave. I’ve been at Ascot since 14 and continue to play there even while studying in Gloucester. My Dad was a big part of my football journey and he influenced me so much in playing as well as always being there to watch. Ascot have struggled with dealing with my football since my Dad passed away but other than this it has been an amazing 6 years at the club! Football is a massive positive in my life that makes me feel better after a bad day!”

Darcey Young, Ascot United Ladies

“Social aspect, getting my mind off studies, exercise”

Celia Spanu, Tilehurst Panthers

“I play football because I love the game. Started playing at a very young age. Football helps me a lot with my mental health”

Claudia Periquito, S4K FC Berks County Ladies

“Fun, fitness, social, competition”

Vee Jones, Shinfield Rangers Women

“I love the social aspect of the football aswell as the satisfaction of playing well and winning games which results in my team winning something . Also the sense of unity brought together during a match and the idea that everyone has each other’s backs”

Wargrave Women

“I enjoy the sport”

Ally Kelly, S4K FC Berks County Ladies
Abi Canvin, Slough Town Ladies Photo: Andrew Batt / contentello.smugmug.com
Abi Canvin, Slough Town Ladies Photo: Andrew Batt / contentello.smugmug.com

“The team environment is excellent and the bonds you can create are so strong”

Danielle Corp, Shinfield Rangers Women

“Love of the game and my team are awesome”

Michelle Melia, S4K FC Berks County Ladies

“It’s fun”

Leah Why, Tilehurst Panthers
Related Topics
Football in Berkshire is a not for profit site run by volunteers. We feel though that sometimes people need rewarding for the hard work they put in and we wanted to let you know you can support our contributors individually if you so wish. Contributors to this article are as follows:
More Stories

More Stories

Our Supporters


Search Football in Berkshire