CROSFIELDS JFC under 15s girls' football team are reflecting on a stunning season playing in an older age group.

They have just been crowned champions of the Cheshire Girls Football League's top division – at under 16s level.

Warrington Guardian:

Pictures: Charlotte Tattersall Photography

The success has been completed in true underdog fashion, and not just because the girls - who needed to win to seal the glory – were trailing 1-0 with six minutes remaining in the final game of the campaign.

Manager Stewart Whittaker hails the title win, after completing the 2-1 comeback victory against Holmes Chapel Hurricanes, as a 'remarkable achievement'.

Warrington Guardian:

While the team has developed nicely over the past five years, including finishing top of the pile in lower divisions, the ride has been a rollercoaster and featured some heavy losses against older teams in past seasons.

Although they won the lower-level European League as under 10s and the Under 14s Knockout Cup as under 13s, finishing first in the top-flight Champions League this season after again competing against sides a year older is a magnificent effort.

Warrington Guardian:

"Our under 15s girls have spent four of the last five years playing up a year in age groups due to the format of the league," said Whittaker, 41, who took over running the team as under 10s.

"Anyhow, the girls come of age winning the top under 16s division as an all under 15s team. I am just bowled over that they've done it."

Warrington Guardian:

Whittaker and assistant manager Dale Picton have continually drilled into the players how they have been playing the best football in the division in which they featured.

"We have handed out some thumpings, which if I am honest isn't nice to be on either end of, but the girls have slowly started to believe us," said the construction project manager.

Warrington Guardian:

"I am still not sure if they realise just how big an achievement it is.

"Only one team to my knowledge has won the Champions League at any age playing a year up, and they cherry picked the best players in the area.

Warrington Guardian:

"Only one team in the club's 20-year history has won any Champions League before and that was six years ago at under 12s.

"My girls have done it without any concern on talent when joining.

Warrington Guardian:

"The club stands out as it's all inclusive. I don't trial kids when they want to join us, they get three weeks to decide if they want to join us and that's it.

"It's a mixture of good coaching, good kids that are committed as well as the most supportive and dedicated parents any child could want."

Warrington Guardian:


Abi Allen, Katie Atkinson, Mia Bates, Louisa Black, Faye Butterworth, Ebony Cheadle, Emma Cunningham, Millie D'symonds, Gracie Howl, Jess Longton, Taylah Picton, Shannon Stevens, Leonie Sykes, Cerys Turner, Sophie Whalley, Elle Whittaker.

Record of achievement:

Winners of Cheshire Girls Football League Under 16s Champions league (as an under 15s team)

Winners of Cheshire Girls Football League Under 10s European league

Winners of Cheshire Girls Football League Under 14s Knockout Cup (as an under 13s team)

Runners-up in the Cheshire Girls Football League Under 14s European league (as an under 13s team)

Winners of various summer tournaments