GIRLS will continue playing alongside their friends when they get older after two clubs agreed to work more closely together.

Northwich Vixens, a team for adults, are forming a new side to encourage teenagers at Northwich Vickies make the move from junior to senior football.

If the experiment is a success, then there will be a path that girls can follow from the moment they try football for the first time through to leaving school.

“We’ve wanted to do this for a while and now it’s happening,” said Rob Millington, joint chairman of Northwich Victoria’s junior section of which Vickies are a part.

“The timing is right, and it’s a happy coincidence that we hosted our first session for girls 10 years ago.”

A handful of youngsters turned up for a kickabout at Chinkers Field, a patch of grass behind Memorial Court in the town centre, back in 2009.

Many more have followed since, and this season Vickies fielded teams from under nines through to under 16s.

Millington said: “Our experience is that girls reach 16 and then stop playing.

“They won't have to if our partnership with Vixens works the way we want.”

Vixens play currently in the North West Women’s Regional League, and finished sixth in Division One South this time around.

Meanwhile new development squad, a bridge between Vickies’ under 16s and an adult first team, will enter the Cheshire Women’s and Youth League from next term.

“The benefit to both clubs is clear,” said Paul Kelsall, Vixens’ manager.

“I agreed to help at Northwich in return for them giving some thought to the future and what they planned to do if their older players decided to call it a day.

“The result is a partnership with Vics, and the potential is exciting.”

Some squad members at Vixens are former Vickies players, but Millington told the Guardian that is more by accident than design.

It no longer needs to be that way.

A launch day for the partnership at Lostock Gralam’s Park Stadium home, to which parents were invited along with their daughters, was a huge success.

Kelsall said: “Players from our team were there and they spoke passionately about wishing they had an opportunity like this when they were younger.

“It was fascinating to watch how that was received by the girls, and I think a message like that resonates more coming from them than it does from me.”

Planning for next season has started already.

Vixens will host two open training sessions on the 3G pitch at Hartford Campus next month for women interested in joining one of their teams.

The first of those is on Wednesday, June 5, from 7.30pm.

To find out more, email or call manager Paul Kelsall on 07984 046704.