Under 13s Girls Cup

New Essex Under 13s Girls Cup for Season 2024/25

Steady Female Participation Growth Recognised

A brand-new Essex Under 13s Girls Cup has been introduced by the Essex County FA for the forthcoming 2024/25 season, further recognising the steady growth of female football participation within the county.

Paying tribute to the recent success of the England Lionesses, it’s been agreed that now is the time to add an additional competition at this age group. Following a full consultation process, a County Cup Structure Group met on Friday 14th June and unanimously agreed the new competition should be introduced for this campaign.

A growth in entries had been noted across the girls’ county cups since the start of the Essex County FA #MovingForward Strategy for 2021-2024, the Under 12s age group leading the way with a 100% increase in entries. The Under 14s were not far behind, rising by 83%, while the Under 16s also grew by 21%. Previously, Under 13s teams had been eligible to enter the Under 14s Girls Cup.

This created a larger competition with a wider range of divisional entrants. However, Under 12s players playing up an age group were unable to compete in the Under 14s Cup due to maximum age band requirements, in accordance with FA rules. This led to withdrawals due to squad size, especially as it was the first 11v11 age group (following 9v9 at Under 12s).

Female county cup competitions in Essex, within the youth age groups, were first introduced for the 2009/10 season in the Under 14s and 16s age groups. There have since been additions at Under 12s and Under 18s subsequently, as well as a secondary open-age Women’s Trophy competition. It is envisaged that the new Under 13s competition will prove very popular.

Essex County FA Football Development Officer, Emma Burden, commented: “This is a massive positive for the Essex grassroots female community. We’ve seen exponential growth in the Under 12s girls age group, and this is due to the commitment within leagues, clubs and the volunteer workforce locally.”

“Sustaining a female pathway which offers competitive opportunities for age groups, where retention is key, is a challenge for all sports, and I’m thrilled that Essex can offer another strand within our current county cup competitions.”

Cups & Competitions lead, Mark Wallis, added: “For many grassroots clubs and teams, participation in a County Cup represents the highest level of competition each season, and it provides a prestigious opportunity to challenge different teams from outside of your league. Thousands of players enjoy taking part every year and we’ve seen some very exciting games, so ensure your team enters before the deadline to join in!”

Browse the 'Cups & Competitions' menu above to find out more about our County Cups. You can also interact with @EssexCountyFA on X and search for the ‘EssexFootball’ page on Facebook.

County Cup Entry: There is a change to the County Cup entry process for Saturday, Sunday and Under 13s competitions. Rather than teams applying to enter a specific competition, there will be a single option to enter Saturday, Sunday or Under 13s Cups.

We will then assign the team to the appropriate competition, identified through our County Cups 'pyramid' and the constitutions provided by each league. For all County Cup entries, invoices will be raised by us once the relevant team is affiliated.

These will be required to be paid by Wednesday 31st July 2024 to ensure the team is entered into a County Cup. Where teams may be required to be in a competition with a higher entry fee, we will raise a separate invoice and notify clubs of this.

Under 13s Girls Cup

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