Eamonn Newell Chairman of Twickenham Cygnets

One hundred days since Lionesses Euro triumph: how is a Twickenham club feeling the impact?

It’s 100 days today since the Lionesses won the European Championship, and one Twickenham club can already see the impact it has made.

As soon as Chloe Kelly tapped in the winning goal, hope was sparked among pundits and commentators alike that more young women would be enticed into football. 

That was the hope at Twickenham Cygnets, a girls’ football club who run age based teams from under-eight to under-18, and their chairman Eamonn Newell has seen an effect since the Lionesses’ win.

He said the Euros created excitement around current players and this was unusual for a football tournament as a lot of the Cygnets players didn’t watch football on TV.

He added: “It captured a lot of imagination among current players and a lot of them went to the games.”

The club ran trips to the nearby games, such as at Brentford Community Stadium, and a few of the younger players camped out at the Lionesses base in Teddington.

Newell said there has not been a huge influx of new players but he did say he thinks the influx will come in the long term.

The Lionesses’ win has had its effect on the current players and Newell said the players’ heroes have changed from the likes of Messi to England stars such as Lucy Bronze and Ella Toone.

He added: “There’s been a change over the summer in the girls having the confidence to wear a top that has a female footballer on it.”

The Twickenham Cygnets were formed in 2015, when Newell’s ten-year-old daughter expressed an interest in playing football.

What stopped his daughter playing football for her school in the conventional manner was the school’s PE teacher only picked the same five girls every match.

Newell called some of the local clubs and the message he got back was “very welcoming”, but the tone of all the messages was to get her to come down for a trial and he didn’t want to do this because his daughter had never played football before.

He added: “The last thing I wanted to do was to put her down into a club environment where people would be judging her on whether she was good enough.”

Newell then asked if any of her friends were in the same position as her, and eight girls said they were, so the Cygnets were formed.

Newell said: “Our ethos is all about inclusivity. There will never be any player put on trial, if you want to play football and you’re a girl there will always be a place for you.”

Newell said he was incredibly thankful to the club sponsor Middlesex Marble who help the team buy equipment and support the club financially.

You can find out more about the Twickenham Cygnets here.

Featured image credit: Eamonn Newell

Related Articles