Girls’ Football: Season Starts With ISFA Successes


The 2016-17 Bede’s Girls’ Football Season has started with a spring in its step.

First and foremost, we learned last week that three girls had been selected for the Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA) England Squad, so congratulations to Leilani Nesbeth, Drew Lawrence and Leila Emerson.


Elsewhere, there is much optimism amongst Bede’s own squads, with participation-based training sessions drawing more girls than ever before.

With coaching currently focusing on technique and movement skills, the sessions have been led by our Director of Football and UEFA B coach Mr Caryer with assistance both from myself and Mr Morris, Bede's Level 3 Strength and Conditioning Coach.

To capitalise on girls' positivity and the momentum it has created, the U18s took part in a Bede’s-hosted match against Ardingly last week in the first round of the ISFA tournament, during which great promise was shown by Devon Hackett, Evie Horne, Firdest Karaca and Rhiannon Read amongst others.


After enjoying a solid win in that well-played game, Sunday 9 October saw a full complement of U15s and U18s heading to Charterhouse for the annual ISFA Ladies 7s Tournament.

With lots of cheer and jest the girls made their way through the preliminary stages, during which the U15s in particular showed great character.

Their two starlets, Leila Emerson and Liliana Jones, were unavailable and injured respectively but Roberta Vine and Sadie Collett both grabbed fantastic goals whilst Abigail Tanzer and Maddy Walden were formidable in goal and defence respectively.


The U15s finished third in their group and narrowly missed out on progressing to the knockout stages, but there is no doubt that great things await this promising team.

The U18s meanwhile encountered a challenging group, but lots of top-flight teamwork and high-intensity play saw the team progress into the knockout stages with two wins, a draw and one defeat.

Phoebe McNally was strong in defence, whilst Helena Donegan, Molly Ash and Janina Miliauskaite created some superb opportunities, and the girls emerged victorious in their quarter final thanks to their tactical grace.


They may have suffered a narrow defeat in the semi-finals at the hands of the eventual winners, but elite performances were plain to see from Leilanni Nesbeth, Drew Lawrence and Rhiannon Read.

Both the U18s and U15s should be exceptionally proud of their recent flurry of accomplishments, and with our Girls’ Football Programme growing everyone on the Bede’s Coaching Staff is now looking forward to our own Ladies’ Tournament in March.

In the meantime, it’s back to training and preparation work for the array of fixtures the girls will be taking part in between now and the new year.


Learn more about the Bede's Football Academy >

Learn more about Sport for Girls at Bede's >