A GIRLS’ football team are looking the part on and off the pitch after netting a new kit thanks to a £900 sponsorship boost from a Wrexham finance firm.
In-form Buckley Town JFC U12s have made a strong and stylish start to the season while donning their brand new strip secured with the ongoing financial backing of Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management Ltd.
The growing company, which was set up by founding directors Warren Hadlow and Medwyn Edwards in 2000, is based at the former Wrexham Lager Old Brewery building in the heart of the town and looks after the financial plans for nearly 3,000 clients.
The girls’ U12s team coach Jon Peatfield has been a mortgage advisor at Hadlow Edwards for more than three years and it’s been his dedication to the football club during that time that spurred the firm into providing much-needed financial support.
His talented young side have won their first seven games and have found themselves well placed at the top end of the table already.
The 42-year-old, whose daughter Freya plays in the team, said: “Hadlow Edwards sponsored us last season too and this continued support has enabled us to have the right kit on a match day.
“It’s a big thing for the girls – they want to look the part and like any team sport be well presented.
“When they do all the training and work towards a match day, to go out and play in a new kit just finishes it all off.
“Hadlow Edwards have been fantastic. We were looking for a sponsor, they were looking to do something and it was a nice fit. It’s tough financially at grassroots level and that support is vital.”
Hadlow Edwards Director James Parry, said: “We are always keen to find way of supporting the community, whether it be an initiative or through sport.
“We know Jon puts a lot of time and effort into running not only the U12s side but the entire girls’ football operation at Buckley Town JFC and we were delighted to offer him our support.
“Girls’ football is growing all the time and it’s fantastic to see Jon and his team have enjoyed a brilliant start to the season – long may it continue!”
Jon, who lives in Buckley, started helping out at the club when his daughter Freya, 11, began taking part in training sessions.
He initially had to complete his Football Association of Wales (FAW) first aid, safeguarding and leader awards, and is now working towards his C Certificate to widen his coaching knowledge, now he has taken on the role of girls’ football co-ordinator at the club.
Jon said: “I got into coaching simply because my daughter started training at Buckley Town JFC.
“I got involved about two and a half years ago helping out with training and gradually took the team on as they got more structure playing games.
“They were looking for someone to run the team and I put my hand up – and then ended up with a lot more work than I expected!
“With my role at Hadlow Edwards there is a lot to juggle but it’s been good and they’re a really good bunch.”
He added: “Buckley Town JFC predominantly was a boys club with boys leagues and teams. In the last few years we’ve gone from girls training to the club having five teams.
“It’s one of the biggest growing sports in the world – girls’ football. It’s huge. The world cup was a big thing for girl’s football. It’s growing massively and we’ll continue to see an increase.
“Hopefully this group will move up to the U14s next year and then eventually go on to play in a ladies’ team. Hopefully in Buckley having our own ladies’ team is something that might happen in a year or two.
“We’ve got girls who are playing for Wrexham and Flintshire, and last year we had a goalkeeper sign for Liverpool FC.”
The U12s girls’ team are currently playing sides in the Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire areas.
In January the league splits and they will start playing sides who are performing at a similar level in the other league which consists of teams further up the north Wales coast, including from Conwy and Gwynedd.
Jon said: “The idea is to create better competition. If a team is doing well they will go on and play stronger teams, and if a team is still in development they will play teams at the same level.
“We’ve got 14 teams on our side and there are 12 on the other. We’ve had a strong start.
“We should hopefully get into the top four so we play the top sides from the other league. That will be a strong test for us.”
Jon’s daughter Freya, who attends Elfed High School, plays right midfield and he believes her love for the game has stemmed from them both going to watch live football together.
He said: “She’s tried a lot of different things and football is the one thing that stuck with her.
“I take her to watch Liverpool and Wrexham, and we’ve also gone to watch Liverpool Ladies. That’s how she’s got into it.
“I’m sure she’d love to go on and play for Liverpool but at the moment she’s just enjoying it. That’s what it’s all about.”