Historic Doncaster Rovers Belles welcome Doncaster Belles Juniors under Club Doncaster

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After 11 years of being separated, and positive changes in leadership across both organisations over recent years, Doncaster Rovers Belles and Doncaster Belles Juniors are once again together in the same family under umbrella group, Club Doncaster.

Chris Wood, Doncaster Rovers Belles Chief Executive, said “It came together at a perfect time. I wasn’t aware of any of the history between the two organisations and after we launched the Wildcats programme, we now have young players who have been here and grown as part of the programme wanting to play games, so we were looking at creating junior teams.

“Someone mentioned that those teams already exist in Doncaster Belles Juniors and if we joined together, we could get closer, quicker to our aim that we want the best local talent, coached by the best local coaches.

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“We want to offer the opportunity for as many Doncaster girls as possible to play football for us which is why we’re so proud to offer a team for every age group.

Chris Wood (Doncaster Rovers Belles Chief Executive), Amanda Greenslade (Belles ETC Technical DirectChris Wood (Doncaster Rovers Belles Chief Executive), Amanda Greenslade (Belles ETC Technical Direct
Chris Wood (Doncaster Rovers Belles Chief Executive), Amanda Greenslade (Belles ETC Technical Direct

“If you’re just starting out, we have the Wildcats programme, if you have some experience we have a team for every age group from 7-16. We then work with the best talent in those age groups in our ETC.

“We believe Our Elite Talent Pathway for ages 16-21 provides our players with the best training you can get outside of a Professional Game Academy leading into the senior set up.

“Our first team are building towards a promotion push this season to take the Belles on the first step of their journey back to where they used to be and where they belong.

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“We believe the foundations we are laying now can fulfil the dream we have that a player can complete the entire journey where they join as a Wildcat, progress to Junior Belles, moves up to ETC, joins the Elite Talent Pathway, and one day contributes to Belles first team. That’s what we are working towards!”

Junior Belles with first team players Phoebe Sneddon (left) and Katie Yates (right).Junior Belles with first team players Phoebe Sneddon (left) and Katie Yates (right).
Junior Belles with first team players Phoebe Sneddon (left) and Katie Yates (right).

Gareth Walton, Junior Belles Chairman, said: “When Chris Wood approached us, it seemed like the perfect time to put any issues in the past that none of us were involved in behind us, and take the opportunity as both of us want to grow female football across Doncaster.

“We were already really proud of our flourishing Junior section, we have a great set up with a clubhouse and pitches at Brodsworth, but we know with the support from Doncaster Rovers Belles and the weight that the name and badge carries we can take everything we do to the next level.

“We’ve been guests at a couple of games at Eco Power Stadium, some of younger players were mascots and ball operatives at one of the Belles games, and it just shows the girls the levels that they can achieve through football in Doncaster by being a part of this family.”

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All junior teams will wear the same kit as the first team, and a nod to the Belles historic past will be seen when the playing kit for next season is revealed.

The Belles ETC and Junior Belles are holding trials on 4, 6, and 12 June from 5pm-8pm each day at the Eco Power Stadium. Expressions of interest forms can be found on the Belles social media channels @DonnyBelles.

More than 150 people have already put their names forward already, so it looks to be a positive start to the future for the reunited Belles.