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Football: England star inspires Broadstone girls' Wembley bid
BROADSTONE Middle School’s dream of playing at Wembley Stadium has received a major boost – from England Ladies star Steph Houghton.
Houghton this week paid a visit to the school’s under-13 girls team as they stepped up their preparations for today’s southern region final of the npower Football League Girls Cup.
The 24-year-old Team GB ace visited the youngsters, who are representing AFC Bournemouth in the national six-a-side competition, to answer questions and carry out a training session.
Arsenal player Houghton passed on her expertise to the side, who were selected as Cherries’ representatives after winning the local tournament organised by the Dorset club’s Community Sports Trust.
They progressed to line up against seven other Football League outfits in a regional tournament at Aldershot, defeating the hosts 3-0 to be crowned winners.
If the girls are successful in the next round at Milton Keynes tomorrow, they will earn themselves a prestigious place in the grand final – to be played at Wembley ahead of this year’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.
Houghton, who appeared for England in the 2011 Ladies World Cup and starred for Team GB at London 2012, said: “When I was a girl, I didn’t have women footballers to look up to. So, for me, it is nice to be able to come to a school like this and give the girls something to aspire to.”
Steve Cuss, head of AFC Bournemouth’s Community Sports Trust, said: “It was a massive boost for the girls that such a well-known and respected player took the time to visit and help them.
“I know how thrilled they were about the game and her visit and, hopefully, she passed on some key information to inspire them to victory and a well-deserved place in the final at Wembley.”