The success of a mixed gender Timperley football team earned them a starring role on the Match of the Day spin-off Kickabout on Saturday.
Timperley Villa Tornadoes Under-12s were featured on the CBBC programme at the weekend after it heard how the arrival of three girls on the boys’ team had transformed results.
Presenter Ben Shires and the production team came down to regular training in January to film the team practice and meet manager Paul Kerrigan and some of the players.
What Paul, whose son plays in the team, had also noticed is that the boys and girls has bonded and become a unified team, to the point where the fact that they were mixed had been forgotten.
Timperley Villa chairman Steve Sadler said: “Having Ben and the Kickabout team down to training was really exciting for the children and it is fantastic to see the club on the television.
“More and more girls are choosing to play football with Timperley Villa and the girls section has become a big part of the club, but in this instance it’s really gratifying that the boys and girls have come together to create a great team spirit and friendship. It is definitely something we are looking to expand upon for other teams and age groups for next season.”
Timperley Villa have been running junior teams since 1981 and have representative teams competing from U7s to U18s, with an all-girls section from U9 upwards.
Manager Paul Kerrigan added: “The real measure is to how our team has improved over the last 12 months that coincides with the girls joining our team. Morale is good, the team balance is good and we play better and from the comments we get, other teams have noticed this.”
David Waters, a producer of Match of the Day Kickabout, said: “When we heard of a local under 12s football team that had turned their season around by recruiting talented girls it sounded like a perfect Kickabout story and it proved to be the case!”