A FIVE-A-SIDE league is expanding its women’s league in the city due to massive demand ahead of the Women’s Euros this summer.
5s Football started during 2018 in Brighton and Hove, growing strength to strength with eight different leagues stretching from Lancing all the way to East Brighton.
It was started by founder Jake Huggins, 31, from Brighton, who had the idea of filming every match and allowing people to be able to watch their performance back every week.
The women’s league was started with “reasonable interest” around 2019 with space for five teams.
But mirroring the picture nationwide, the business has seen demand increase for a larger women’s league within Brighton.
Jake told The Argus: “Generally we didn’t have enough interest to warrant moving it to a bigger location and growing the league.
“But more recently in the last three or four months we have had far more interest, it’s really good.
“It has been really interesting, we have a few teams but there has been so many individuals who just want to play.
“In the men’s football, we have found it’s generally easier for a guy to find five mates and put a team together, whereas for a woman it can be harder to find a group of mates who all play football.
“We used to run a men’s league which we paused, but we thought because of all the interest from women recently why don’t we start a bigger women’s league at Manor Road?
“Currently we have the women’s league playing next to the men’s league but this will be one where only women are around playing. It will be a nicer atmosphere for the women and they can be closer together.”
In June, 5s Football were approached by the Football Association (FA) which was looking to create its own women’s league in Brighton.
The FA will be directing women to join 5s Football’s new league in Manor Road, East Brighton.
Jake added: “For the FA it’s like another branch, if anyone gets in touch they will direct them to us. They’re very keen and excited, as are we to increase the opportunity for women’s football in Brighton and Hove.”
Paul Ofei-Kwatia, football development officer for Sussex County FA, said: “Sussex County FA are pleased to be working with 5s Football to provide a regular opportunity for women to play football.
“This is a unique provision in Brighton and comes at a time when the Women’s Euros is due to kick off in the county and kick start the legacy we are all working to build.”
The women’s league is starting from Thursday, July 14 at Manor Road in East Brighton and will run every Thursday from then.
The UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 tournament kicks off on Wednesday, July 6, with England taking on Austria at Old Trafford in Manchester.
The Amex in Falmer will host some Euros fixtures during the tournament, including a quarter final in late July.
For more information on 5s Football’s new women’s league, visit its website or email Jake Huggins at email@example.com.