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Football: ex-Women’s Premier League England champion Claire Thomas coaches Manea Girls’ in special session


By Pete Woodhouse


At Manea park, Manea Girls’ coach Steve Tarsitano arranged a special training session which was led by former Women’s Premier League professional player, Claire Thomas.

This was to encourage girls to get active and get into the sport.

Steve said: “There are few teams and opportunities, in our village and area, to get girls into sports teams. I started training the girls a few months ago, initially to give my daughter an opportunity to try something different and get active.

Manea Claire Thomas session 7.19 (14132904)
Manea Claire Thomas session 7.19 (14132904)

"It started to snowball at the start from word of mouth from my daughter to her friends and quickly it has grown and been on Facebook.

“Currently we have over 20 girls of varying age groups, which is huge for our village, plus I think the recent success in England’s recent women’s World Cup campaign has helped!

“I wanted the girls to experience training from someone who competed at the highest level. Claire is a real positive female role model.”

Claire was a pivotal player in Barnet FC’s promotion to the premiership; she also led the squad to the semi-finals in the women’s FA Cup.

Claire Thomas (14132907)
Claire Thomas (14132907)

She then went on to spend a number of successful seasons in the American women’s soccer league, winning the State Championship.

She has played alongside current England players such as Jill Scott, Toni Duggan, Karen Carney, Ellen White and Jordan Nobbs.

Steve said: “Girls left the training session with a real feeling of excitement and the numbers have kept on rising week-on-week.

“The Manea Strikers FC have been pivotal in supporting the girls and provided us with all the equipment. My thanks also go to them.”
n Claire is pictured above with Steve and the youngsters who attended the training session.



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