Gemma Grainger visits Caerphilly Castle

Cymru manager Gemma Grainger visited Virginia Park on Tuesday evening for a training session with Caerphilly Castle.

Grainger was introduced to the club’s mini and junior teams as they took part in their weekly session ahead of the new season. The girls were given the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with Grainger after training and brought along items for the Cymru manager to sign.

The club recently hosted a festival for girls aged between 6-11 with over 300 taking part, and a women’s tournament with over 100 taking part, to raise money for a mental health charity.

Bethan Bushen, who is a coach at Caerphilly Castle, described the impact she feels the visit will have on the girls at the club.

Bushen said: “We’re so grateful to Gemma for taking the time to come and visit us, especially when she’s preparing for the start of a new campaign. It will help us in our recruitment when promoting girls’ football. The girls throughly enjoyed the experience and a lot of them have been to the senior matches before, so to see Gemma in person and being able to ask her questions is something that they’ll treasure.

“One of the girls said when she goes into school she’s going to tell all her friends about it, and I think that’s what really matters. It’s about providing these girls with an opportunity to meet someone who is such a mentor and an inspiration to girls in football. The minis and juniors absolutely loved it and I’ve had such great feedback off the parents. There was so much stuff for Gemma to sign after the session and we’re really grateful that she was able to sign it all for the girls. 

“It was amazing for our coaches too to see Gemma interacting with all the girls and engaging with the minis session. We’re definitely going to be at the Denmark match and we’re keen to be the loudest in the stadium. We’ll all come in our yellow kits so you’ll probably be able to spot us in the sea of red. We’re really looking forward to the upcoming campaign and we’ll all, of course, be behind Cymru.

“This evening has been a once in a lifetime opportunity and I don’t think the girls will ever forget it.”

Grainger is preparing for the September international window, where Cymru will start their UEFA Women’s Nations League campaign with a trip to Iceland before facing Denmark at the Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday 26 September.

Grainger said: “It’s been amazing to visit the club and see what great work all the coaches are doing to support the girls in their sessions. I know they’ll be coming to watch us against Denmark and we would really love to see as many people as we can in Cardiff to get behind the team. 

“The games that have been most memorable down there, like the ones against Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia, have been when we’ve got the fans behind us. We want to make sure that when teams come to play us that we’re difficult to play against and the fans play such a big part in that, so I would encourage everyone if you can to come down and support the team because we really want to be successful in the Nations League. We want to make home advantage count and the fans are a big part of that.

“The group bookings have had such a huge take up in previous games and the value is fantastic, so hopefully that can encourage more people to come to the games.”

Tickets for the match against Denmark are available to purchase on the FAW ticketing website.

Group bookings

Discounted group booking rates are available for clubs, schools, and any groups of 10+ people at £8 for adults and £3 for juniors. The group booking forms are available in PDF or DOC format and will need to be submitted via post or email by 17:00 Tuesday 12 September.

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