PNE’s Women’s Walking Footballers remarkable run in the FA People’s Cup culminated over the weekend with the team finishing an overall second place at the final stage of the competition.
The team had previously faced two regional tournaments to get to the national stage of the competition with both PNE teams finishing first and second, firstly in the north west category, then the north section.
Unfortunately, only one team could progress with the winners of the north category going on to the final tournament which was to be held at the English FA’s St George’s Park.
The team continued to show their quality, this time on a national front with the Lilywhites starting the tournament as they meant to go on, winning their first four games before draws against Birmingham Blues and Whites.
In total, the team played seven matches, with their only loss of the competition coming in the final against Birmingham, signalling the end to what was a fantastic and memorable run for PNE’s Women’s Walking Footballers.
Inclusion Manager at PNE, Mel Brown said: “On behalf of Preston North End, I’d like to say how proud we are of the ladies for getting this far.
“The team is made up of members of our women’s walking football sessions which is run predominantly by coach, Nel McManus. Two years on from our first all female Walking Football session, it’s amazing to see how far they’ve come.
“Some of these ladies never thought they’d play again, so to do so representing North End on a national scale and reach the final is an unbelievable achievement.
“The ladies are an incredibly tight-knit bunch, and as well as the football side, there’s very much a social side at the heart of these sessions with the group making friends for life as a result.
“A lot of the team who didn’t reach the final ended up coming along anyway to support the team, that shows in itself the bond we have in this team.”
Although the women’s Walking Football FA People’s Cup category was only open to ages 40 and over, North End’s sessions welcome females of all ages to its session at the community training centre, and Mel is encouraging those debating about playing, to give it a try!
Mel added: “Whether you’re a previous player of football and looking to get back into it, or want to give it a go for the first time, our women’s Walking Football sessions are perfect for all females to get involved regardless of age or ability, so get involved, you won’t regret it.
Sessions run at the PNE community training centre (PR2 3TX) every Thursday from 6.30pm until 7.30pm for just £2 a session. Find out more.