Football for Girls – September 1920

We read that football teams for girls are being formed in various parts of the country and the illustrated pages of the dailies is enlivened by pictures of young women clad in short wide trousers and striped jerseys enjoying themselves immensely judging from their attitudes in relation to a big ball in the foreground.

Should girls play football, is the latest query exercising the minds of the seriously frivolous? A quarter of a century ago it took the form of should girls ride a bicycle. It has not yet been fully recognised that there is no law of sex, determining what games a girl shall not play —- except it be in the deadly game of fighting and whatever a boy or a man finds interesting, exhilarating and healthful in exercising himself with a ball. Surely a girl may also find innocent pleasure in this.

During the war I used to see munition girls in their over-alls playing football outside the factory walls and no one had time to suggest the slightest impropriety in the play and now these war time football clubs are being reformed Certain firms which provide play grounds for the recreation of their female employees have added a football enclosure and one large firm has expressed regret that they have not sufficient space available.  Soon we shall be as familiar with the football girl as the golf girl —- shall we?

I am, at the moment sympathetically inclined towards the feminine footballer in as much as I have been getting a few lessons in football myself and enjoyed them immensely in spite of my conspicuous failure at the game and the disgusted reproaches of my little chums who expect my limbs to have some approach to the agility of theirs.

When I say I have no more breath left they suggest that I be the goal keeper —as if that were an easy post and here I find that swiftness of mind is as important as agility of muscle and mind. By the time my mind has grasped the exact point at which the ball is approaching it has already shot past me and a high young voice shouts “another goal!”

It doesn’t mend matters for me when Winkie joins me as a goal keeper. Small as he is, he has a great strength owing to the marvellous nimbleness of hands and feet that is perhaps not unusual at eight years of age. Consequently I am not so alert as I might be and when the ball slips through between us — nearest my end of course —- I am rebuked for leaving all the work to those clever little feet or for not seeing that the ball was going much too high for him to jump up to and I should have made a leap into the air to stop it.

The conclusion of the matter is that I fervently wish I were young enough to join one of those new football teams.

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