New ground was broken on the 19th April when Rangers Girls 2003s played a friendly against Giffnock SC. The girls played their first 11-a-side game against all-boy opposition that day. A week later, they recorded their first win at 11-a-sides, again versus a boys team. What is special about Rangers Girls is that they plan to do just that for all of next season in the all-boys PJDYFL.
The side, who already have done so for a season at 7-a-side level, are thought to be the first girls team in the country to participate in an all-boys 11-a-side league setup.
Coach Gerry Mannion said “The group of girls were brought together and we spoke with Head of Youth Peter Kennedy and decided for the girls’ development we thought it would be better to play against the boys.”
“As far as the girls development goes, its helped us going down that pathway of joining the Paisley and District 'boys league' at 2003s.”
“I have a philosophy to train as you play. If we train hard, then come up against the boys, the physical side isn't a problem.”
“I said to the girls after the first game and said “you have just made history today”. Every one of them just looked at me! It’s exciting, I have a squad of 19 girls and every one of them is a great footballer.”
The excitement could definitely be sensed in the players as well. Team captain Rosie said “We’re feeling good and confident in the boys league, going 11-a-side against the boys, there’s no other girls team who are doing that, so it’s good.”
Another player, Gemma, said “I've not played very many 11-a-side games, so to play at that level, it’s pretty cool! It was really good to win last weekend.”
Summer is another of the squad who is relishing the challenge. However when asked to pinpoint the team’s star player, she echoed the strength-in-depth sentiments of her coach “I just think it’s all of us, we’re all at a great standard and Gerry our coach is just great, the best I've ever had. He’s made us great.”