A PROGRAMME aimed at encouraging more girls to play football is underway at six clubs across North Wales.

Huddle is the brainchild of the FAW Trust – the organisation responsible for grassroots football in Wales. Targeting girls aged between five and 12, the programme is designed to be a fun, sociable introduction to the game.

Katy Evans, the FAW Trust's football development manager for girls participation, said she hopes that many more girls in Wales fall in love with football.

She said: "We know there is huge demand from girls in schools to play football but that isn't reflected in the numbers of girls going along to a club.

"We've got some really ambitious targets because we want to see every girl in Wales having the opportunity to try out the game. We see lots of girls coming along feeling quite shy and unsure about football, but once they’ve had a taste of Huddle they soon realise it’s a game for everyone.

"Huddle bridges the gap between having a taste of football at school and joining a club. It focusses on girls being able to play skill games in a fun environment with their friends."

Almost 1000 girls played in the North Wales leagues last season, but FAW Trust has set the ambitious target of 20,000 registered female players across Wales by 2024.

The Huddle programme will take place at Buckley Town JFC, NFA Girls in Prestatyn, Caernarfon Town FC, Penrhyn Bay Girls and Brickfield Rangers in Wrexham.

These clubs have been awarded a grant, which can be spent on kit, promotion or facility hire. They also undertake Huddle training and receive a speaker to help run the sessions as well as Huddle flags and banners to help promote the sessions.

Following the 10-12 week course, the Huddle coordinator will help signpost girls to suitable local clubs if they wish.

For more details and to sign up, please visit www.huddle.cymru