England football team call-up for Doncaster schoolgirl Alys, 7

A Doncaster youngster will rub shoulders with the likes of Wayne Rooney and boss Sam Allardyce after being called up to the England football team.

Friday, 23rd September 2016, 1:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 1:04 pm
Alys Spencer has been picked to be a player escort for the England football team.

Alys Spencer, seven, has been picked to be player escort at the national team's forthcoming World Cup qualifier against Malta at Wembley in October.

The soccer-mad youngster, who plays for Bessacarr Belles U9s - one of only a handful of Doncaster-based girls' football teams - will step out onto the hallowed turf alongside some of the biggest names in world football for England's opening qualifying match on October 8.

Proud dad Adam, who helps run the Belles' team along with other sides at Bessacarr FC, Doncaster's biggest junior football club, said: "It is really nice that Alys's love of and commitment to football has been recognised.

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"She has been playing since she was three and a half years old and she has inspired me to become involved in girls' football too. She is very excited and is hoping to walk out in an England kit with Doncaster's Danny Rose."

Leeds United fan Alys won her place to line up alongside the men's senior team through the Football Association Skills programme, which she has been a member of since she was five.

The Hatchellwood Primary school pupil regularly trains with and plays for Besscarr Belles who have this season set up teams at both U9 and U11 level and are always on the lookout for more youngsters to join up with the 25 girls already on the club's books.

Added Adam: "She has always played in boys football but she is really enjoying the new challenge against girls.

"I just want to say thanks to Andy Beaglehole, her FA skills coach and Dave Bailey of Bessacarr FC for their part encouraging her and making football fun."

A spokesman for the FA said: "We were hugely impressed with the dedication she has shown to the sport, having never missed a session, not being put off by being the only girl in the group and most impressively she’s also helped to set up three local girls teams."

Any girls interested in becoming involved with the Bessacarr FC girls' teams can visit the club website at http://www.bessacarrfc.org.uk/about-us/4590745950 or visit the club's Facebook page.