A PROGRAMME aimed at encouraging more girls to play football is underway across Wales.

Three Central Wales clubs have been selected among 20 from across Wales to deliver the first phase of the scheme.

Berriew Football Club, Bow Street Football Club and Cardigan Town Football Club will each host 'huddle' programmes.

The Huddle programme is the brainchild of the Football Association of Wales Trust (FAWT), the organisation responsible for grassroots football in Wales.

Targeting girls aged between five and 12, the programme is designed to be a fun, sociable introduction to the game.

FAWT development manager Katy Evans said: "We know there is huge demand from girls in schools to play football but that isn't reflected in the numbers of girls going along to a club.

"We've got some really ambitious targets because we want to see every girl in Wales having the opportunity to try out the game.”

“We see lots of girls coming along feeling quite shy and unsure about football, but once they’ve had a taste of Huddle they soon realise it’s a game for everyone.

"Huddle bridges the gap between having a taste of football at school and joining a club. It focusses on girls being able to play skill games in a fun environment with their friends."

Almost 600 girls played in the Central Wales FA League last season.

The FAW Trust has set the ambitious target of 20,000 registered female players across Wales by 2024.

Clubs are awarded a grant, which can be spent on kit, promotion or facility hire.

Clubs also also undertake huddle training and receive a speaker to help run the sessions as well as flags and banners to help promote the sessions.

Following the 10-12 week course, the huddle coordinator will help signpost girls to suitable local clubs if they wish.