Nottingham City of Football project enjoyed a fantastic day at the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final on Saturday as local Nottingham girls took over Wembley to cheer on Notts County Ladies. put on free tickets for local adults and children for the showpiece event as part of their programme to increase female participation in the game across the city. Girls from Nottingham’s local football teams, community centres and schools showed their support for the Lady Magpies, watching their idols play from front row seats, as they were narrowly defeated 1-0 by Chelsea Ladies. I heard him say those words in person a few years ago at one of our think tanks at the teachers college reading and writing project. Amanda Chambers, Managing Director of Nottingham City of Football, commented: “We were delighted to be able to offer local girls a chance to watch their heroes in such an amazing setting like Wembley, the biggest stadium in the country. “It was rewarding to see all the girls walk inside Wembley to cheer on the team and get a taste for what many of them want to be doing professionally themselves in the not so distant future. “The fact that this was the first time Wembley Stadium had hosted the FA Cup Final shows just how far the women’s game has come over the last few years, and it was superb to see a record attendance of over 30,000. “Despite the defeat the girls had an amazing day and took heart from the resolute performance of the Notts County Ladies. “We hope that all the girls who travelled down today will continue to be inspired to follow in the footsteps of these inspirational women. ”

Many of the girls are also taking part in a number of female only coaching sessions that are running throughout Nottingham this summer in conjunction with Notts County in the Community and Nottingham Forest in the Community. The sessions have seen a big surge in sign ups since the World Cup heroics of the Lionesses. Jordan Blanchard, 16, from Carlton attends the Monty Hind Youth Club. She said: “Wembley was so much bigger than I thought it was going to be. It was really generous of the City of Football to offer these free tickets to us. “We’ve had a great day and it’s good to meet other girls that are interested in football. The girls only classes this summer will hopefully help inspire more girls to take up football. ”

Players from Holy Spirit Celtic FC under 11s based in West Bridgford were also part of the crowd. Thea Hallam, 11, from Radcliffe said the trip to the capital was a day she would never forget. She commented: “My day only told me we were going a couple of days ago, it was an amazing surprise. I’ve supported Notts County Ladies since I was little and it was great to see all my favourite players at Wembley. “Even though they lost it didn’t spoil the day because it was amazing to just be there inside Wembley and see them all out on the pitch. “The way people think about girls football needs to change and if a girl wants to try football out she shouldn’t be scared and think it’s just for boys. I hope the girls only coaching sessions will help change that. ”

For more information on the girls only sessions with Notts County and Nottingham Forest Football in the Community and the brand new Female Footy Fives five a side football scheme go to

Nottingham was crowned England’s City of Football by Sport England and will receive £1. 6million of National Lottery funding over the next two years. Key challenges to be met include raising the levels of participation in football in Nottingham promoting the cultural, social, health and educational benefits of football, supporting diversity among those playing football, and creating new initiatives, which can be replicated across other regions in the country. Find your football at.