The rise of Clapham’s Ladies Football Academy and the heroes behind it

Drive past Clapham Common on a Saturday and it’s impossible to miss the Ladies Football Academy (LFA) in action, with well over a hundred women attending the club training sessions throughout the day. Sessions run from early in the morning into the late afternoon for all abilities.

The LFA setup was established in 2014 by Suresh Shan and Rishi Gujjalu. I speak to Suresh as he arranges a set-piece drill for one of the teams he coaches. He has been involved in women’s football for close to sixteen years and, as with most great things, his journey started off totally unplanned.

“A friend of mine was coaching a group of girls. I was an injured player at the time and he needed someone to cover a session so I just went to fill in for him. We ended up taking the group from these sessions to eleven-a-side football and eventually developed two teams from it.”

Read the article at Planet Football.

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