Charlie Webster: Blades players could learn from these lasses

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Sheffield United are getting involved in discussions regarding the Financial Fair Play framework designed to tackle debt, an issue which sadly now seems to be one of the main topics of conversation related to football.

At the same time, (frustratingly, I’m sure) our new boss Danny Wilson plays the waiting game on player movement while the Blades’ existing first team squad chill in the sun, or do a spot of karaoke, it’s all the rage according to Wayne Rooney and co, and sip on, well, what I can only assume to be freshly-squeezed orange juice.

This week, I’ve been involved in football down the ladder - no, not like the Blades moving down the ladder. Grassroots youth level. On Sunday, I was involved in a national football Under-16 and Under-18 tournament. There were 200 participants which could have easily quadrupled if there had been more places...and did I mention the football players were girls?

The standard was so impressive. It was chucking it down with rain yet the enthusiasm, sheer determination and skill was second to none.

Some of the boys I’ve seen at that age would have been given a run for their money especially with the girls’ intellect and understanding of the game.

Sheffield United unfortunately hadn’t entered a squad but hopefully next year they will. In fact I believe they are running trials right now for the up and coming season.

There was a right battle going on between Chelsea U18 and Liverpool, and a full-on North v South divide rivalry.

The Liverpool goalkeeper seemed unstoppable and her team gave everything they’d got; but Chelsea had more of the skill on the ball and ended up prevailing.

However it was Charlton that won the whole tournament at that age group, their determination to win in the stormy weather is something that translates through grassroots sport and I think can sadly be lost at professional level.

Some of the Blades squad could have learnt a few things from these girls.

West Ham’s U16 striker was banging them in the back of the net, super quick on the ball and completely accurate at first touch.

At U16 it was Charlton again that won the final.

Interestingly enough when I delved a bit deeper a lot of the girls in the Charlton teams had started football on the estate they lived in rather than having the opportunity of an academy.

Luckily Sheffield has that facility; Jessica Sigsworth and Meaghan Sargeant have represented England at U17 level from Sheffield United Girls’ centre of excellence.

Now that the academy has been announced as one of the FA’s newest groups of Elite Centres, we might be able to knock Charlton off their youth girl perch, Manchester United from their Youth Cup platform and (why not make it a treble) our senior squad get themselves out of League One.