Coach Ali wants to give local girls chance to play football

PUBLISHED: 14:58 08 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:58 08 August 2019

England coach Phil Neville consoles his team after the final whistle during the FIFA Women's World Cup third place play-off (pic: John Walton/PA Images).

England coach Phil Neville consoles his team after the final whistle during the FIFA Women's World Cup third place play-off (pic: John Walton/PA Images).

PA Wire/PA Images

The experienced coach is offering free sessions for girls at a five-a-side Astroturf pitch at the Workhouse in Poplar

Judan Ali will be launching a local football academy on Monday, August 12 with his main aim to allow girls in the area to enjoy football sessions for free.

The coach holds a UEFA A licence and has set up camps for children to play the sport across the world.

He is now back where it all started for him in Tower Hamlets and eager to give girls the chance to emulate the stars of this summer's Women's World Cup.

Phil Neville's England side made the semi-finals and the hope was they would inspire the next generation and Ali is keen to play his part.

The one-time Arsenal and Murcia youngster said: "My main real motive now is to see how much traction and how many girls get access to this.

"It's a free service and it's probably never been done before in this part of east London, so it's for everyone."

Ali, who was born in Mile End, will run free sessions for girls at The Workhouse, 116 Poplar High Street, London, E14 0AF, which is a five-a-side Astroturf pitch, on Sundays.

The first will take place on August 18 and girls aged three and above from the area and Tower Hamlets in particular are encouraged to attend and play football.

Spice Merchants, an Indian restaurant in Poplar, will be hosting the launch evening for the Judan Ali's All Female Football Academy on Monday at 6pm.

Its intention is to give Ali the chance to meet parents and provide them with a platform to find out more.

Limited spaces are still available for the evening at Spice Merchants, 38 Salter Street, Docklands, London, E14 8BH, which is situated by Westferry DLR station.

To book a table at Spice Merchants, who are providing kits, water, a first aid kit and much more for the academy, call 020 7987 8779.

For Ali, he felt the need to act and make a difference after parents from close by got in touch with him to express their concerns about young girls going to football camps and not enjoying them.

He added: "Parents have got in touch and told me they don't like these type of soccer schools and camps and they end up pulling their girls out after two or three days.

"With what I'm doing, it's about having the right power to get girls either volunteering or being paid and trained by myself to oversee how we structure sessions and to oversee the levels.

"It's about getting the girls to have fun, be creative and to do teamwork and have confidence, so they come back.

"This is not a money exercise or to find the next best female professional, but if we uncovered a golden nugget, we would point them in the right direction."

Ali has links with various clubs in England and Chelsea Women's player Jess Carter and Kenny Brown, Head of Football at Millwall, are behind the academy.

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