Girl Power

Sunday 07 October 2018 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 09 October 2018 at 23:11)

With her selection to the Wiltshire County FA's Under 16 Girls squad, Mollie Smith became the fourth girl playing within Royal Wootton Bassett Town's youth section to receive a county call-up.

The Under 16 Yellow player joins twins Alana and Nalani Hunt, who play for Bassett's Under 13 Yellow team, and Poppy Wannell of the Under 13 Whites.

Their achievements in being selected to play for Wiltshire is a testament to their ability and proof that girls can succeed playing in mixed football alongside boys. Hopefully it can also encourage more girls to start playing for the club.

Here's an overview of the four girls and what they have achieved:

Alana and Nalani Hunt

Twins Alana and Nalani Hunt are now in their third season playing for Bassett. Left back Nalani and winger Alana played a key role in helping their team win the North Wilts League Division Four title last season. Nalani finished with nine goals – third best on the team, while Alana scored five times. They have also helped ensure their team has made a solid start to life in Division Two so far this year.

In July they were selected for the Wiltshire County FA Girls Advanced Coaching Centre's under 14s squad despite having only just turned 12. The ACC is a bespoke programme designed to support the development of female players across the county. Alana and Nalani Hunt

Mollie Smith

Defender Mollie has been playing for Bassett since joining as an Under 8 for the 2010-11 season. And throughout that time she has been an important member of a side that she continues to play for today.

Last season she played a crucial role in helping the Under 15 Yellow team finish runners-up in North Wilts League Division Three. And they have made a fast start to life in Division Two.

Capable of playing across the back line, Mollie trained with the club's senior Ladies side during pre-season and impressed managers Jonny House and James Goddard. Once she has turned sixteen she will be eligible to play for them in the South West Women's Football League.

On top of that, she has just been selected for the Wiltshire County Girls Under 16 representative squad. Mollie Smith

Poppy Wannell

Joining the twins in representing Wiltshire's Under 14s – and also playing up an age group – is Poppy Wannell of the Under 13 White team.

A player who is comfortable in either midfield or up front, Poppy joined Bassett last season, initially playing for the Under 12 Girls. She finished as the team's top scorer, finishing with more than forty goals for them and seven hat-tricks. Poppy also finished as the leading scorer for the Under 12 White team in Division Four.

This season, playing alongside Darcy Cox – another member of last season's Under 12 Girls side - she has struck six times for her team as they have made a decent start in the same division. Poppy Wannell

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