Following requests by numerous club members we have decided to break our respectful silence and issue a statement, to reassure all that NWGFL will continue to be devoted in providing a female only provision in Norfolk and North Suffolk as we have for many, many years.

First and foremost, we are a not-for-profit league. We exist solely for the benefit of women’s and girls’ football in Norfolk and North Suffolk. We cater exclusively for females, and we are proud of this.

We offer a pathway from U7 into Ladies football, with some age groups having multiple divisions. We also accept development team entries throughout the season because we want to capture and nurture our youngest players’ interests. Only this week we have had new team entries in U8 and U10, these teams being created from Wildcats Centre’s which is amazing and we fully support clubs who work hard to bring these teams into the league.

We are currently in talks to look to provide a unique U18 provision next season, which is exciting and will hopefully bridge that gap from youth football into the adult game.

We have held youth League Forums at all ages to listen to our clubs and collaborate on new and existing ideas.

Our Cup Finals days have been a great success over the years enjoyed by all attending, and following the success of the inaugural Awards Evening last season we are already looking ahead to a bigger and better Awards Evening to finalise this season.

A service we are particularly proud of is our commitment to mental health first aid training to support all involved with grassroots football. In collaboration with Bluebells Mental Health Training, we encourage anyone associated with the NWGFL to engage in Mental Health First Aid training.

A large number of our member clubs have vocally reiterated their support to the NWGFL and stated their intentions to remain with the league.

Sadly, the situation caused by very few is seeking to divide clubs and teams. There are a small number of clubs that have expressed interest in joining a new all-girls provision, however there are teams within those same clubs who wish to remain a part of the NWGFL – their voices left unheard and matters taken out of their hands.

In football, everyone should be respected – clubs, teams, players, referees and volunteers. We as a league have always remained respectful to all other leagues and haven’t taken any opportunities to try and damage the reputation of our fellow hard-working volunteers.

Sadly, this respect is not being reciprocated, looking to tarnish our reputation through any means necessary to drive clubs away from us. By tarnishing the league, they are tarnishing everybody that has worked so hard to make this league a success. Not just league volunteers; but players, coaches, club volunteers and more.

If you are a club being promised the earth to move, please read between the lines the provisions on offer would not be too dissimilar to what is already offered by the NWGFL.

Women’s and Girls football is now rightly experiencing the excitement, the growth and the interest that it should. Rather than growing a league organically, other leagues prefer to steal the achievements of others and claim them as their own. Sadly this is not the first time this has happened. We were there when female football wasn’t fashionable.

Some of our clubs and teams have stated that a big draw of our league is the fact that it is an all-female provision. Put simply, this would not be possible under a mixed league, the boys’ provision will always be bigger and take precedence.

Another concern is what happens when players reach adult age? Entering a youth league would mean nothing, there is no adult provision in a youth league.

There are a lot of question marks around what the actual motives are of trying to divide the female provision in Norfolk and North Suffolk, we truly care about the female game and have never considered changing to a mixed league, but it seems others have an ambition to be the ONLY youth league in Norfolk, whatever impact this may have on the female game.

One thing is guaranteed games are cancelled in every league, mainly due to the weather, this is something no one has control over no matter who you claim to be.

All league setups up and down the country could be improved and we are no different. But we are constantly evolving, looking to implement new ideas and ways of working that will make everyone’s lives that little bit easier and keeping the focus on what it should be – women and girls playing football.

NWGFL Committee