Grassroots Figureheads - Zoe Maylin - Basingstoke Town Ladies - Part Two
Grassroots football is the heart and soul of the game. For the hundreds of thousands of participants, it is their opportunity to be involved in a sport they are truly passionate about.
Kick It Out will speak to figureheads and representatives of the grassroots game, in a series exclusive to the organisation’s website, as they offer their unique thoughts from the amateur and community level.
In the second part of our feature with Zoe Maylin, a player from Basingstoke Town Ladies, she discusses how the women’s game can be improved in England and the plans for her club going into the future.
Zoe has her own thoughts on how the women’s game can progress in England, with the aim of women’s team becoming more secure and sustainable.
“I think the women’s game needs more recognition to let people know what is going on. A lot of the time, people focus on the men’s side of the sport – but I think they would be willing to come and watch women play if they knew a lot more about it,” she explained.
“I think that would raise the profile and hopefully lead to more financial security if you get those people to come and watch. And that just becomes a positive reaction which just leads to more interest.”
Basingstoke Town Ladies are also looking to increase interest in the club via a number of different avenues
“We’ve tried to really push ourselves out there in terms of publicity by trying to engage with the local community on social media as well as the local newspapers. We recently did a fundraising event which was advertised in the local newspaper. The event had quite a few of the men’s supporters come along which was really great.
“We like to get the community involved and we’re trying to build partnerships with schools and Under-18s teams, which I believe is the way forward for us.”
In the 2015/16 season, Basingstoke Town Ladies secured promotion to the FA Women’s Premier League South East Division 1. After a solid season in their first Premier League campaign, Zoe believes there is more to come from the club.
“We’re quite ambitious so we’re always looking to improve. Last season was our first campaign in the Women’s Premier League, so if we can climb higher and aim for one of the top spots in our league and then maybe the season after promotion? You just don’t know.
“With our reserves, we want to keep pushing the development of the players, so we see them coming through to challenge for a place in the first-team. And similarly we eventually want an Under-18s set-up which allows players to come through to our current squad as well.
“I think if you are successful you are going to attract the better players and that is what we’re aiming to do. We can’t do that without all the volunteers and the support they give us.”
Zoe had some final words for anyone wishing to join Basingstoke Town Ladies in any capacity in the future.
“We’re a friendly environment, we appreciated and recognise every single bit of effort put into our football club and it’s a great set-up to be involved in. You get to meet loads of different people and see people develop on the pitch as well as off it, so it is quite a rewarding experience I would say.”
To find out more about Basingstoke Town Ladies, visit their website by clicking here.