Soccer-mad mums lift league title

Soccer-mad mums’ team lifts league title just three years after forming, and we’re really proud to have played our part

Last updated: 29 April 2022

A team of soccer-mad mums who wanted a piece of the action after watching their children play football have gone on to lift their league title – and we’re really proud of the part we’ve played in their success!

Brereton Belles are one of three teams from the town that play in the Staffordshire Mums Play Football League, and they’ve just pipped their sister team and nearest challengers, Brereton Blossoms, to the title with an unbeaten record that has seen them win eight and draw three of their 11 games. The third of the town’s teams, Brereton Social Blackcats, finished sixth in what was their first season in the 12-team league.

The Belles clinched the Thursday nights 7-a-side league with a 5-0 win over Cottage Farm, who sportingly brought along prosecco to help their opponents celebrate the mathematical certainty of their achievement.

All three teams have come to fruition over the past three years, starting with the Belles, while the other two were created to cater for increasing numbers of players.

The remarkable story began three years ago when local mum Katie Corrigan enlisted the help of her husband Craig, who is now the Belles’ coach, to begin training sessions for her and a friend after watching their children play junior football.

And our very own Ryan Tait had a part to play, as Craig explains: “My wife had never played football before. She was like myself, she had taken our five kids to football, and she had this idea she wanted to form a team. I’d always been involved in coaching junior and senior teams, so she asked me if we could get something going after seeing the mums play model online.

“We were so grateful to Ryan at IHL, who let us use the local astroturf pitch on a pay-as-you go basis because he wanted to get more girls there playing football. That was just so helpful because we didn’t then have a huge financial outlay to put us off and without that support we would never have got off the ground.

“It was a struggle to begin with. For the first four to eight weeks we were getting hardly anyone. We were putting the word out on social media and among friends but it was mostly Katie and one of her best friends and a bag of balls, and that was about it.

“But we kept sticking at it and then one week four girls turned up and it was like a Eureka moment, as we could at least play a three versus three game of football, and then those four went and told their friends and we’ve never looked back since.

“It’s great that we’ve won the league, but we’re not about that. We didn’t set this up to go and lift trophies, we set it up to get more women and girls playing football, enjoying it and socialising.”

All three teams come under the guise of Brereton Social Girls and Ladies Football, and when they’re not facing each other in the league they all gather for mass training at the weekend, and support each other if their team doesn’t have a game but a sister team does.

The league is played at 5’s Pavilion and Sports Ground, which we manage on behalf of the local authority. Our MD Chris Derbyshire, says: “As an organisation we want to ensure that we deliver tangible social impact by promoting good health through participation in physical activity, culture and arts across the communities in which we work.