A GIRLS’ football team has triumphed spectacularly in an all-boys’ grassroots football league as part of their mission to challenge stereotypes.

The Concord Rangers under-14 girls, who play in Southend, narrowly beat the all-boys’ Benfleet Raptors 5-2 last weekend to finish off an unbeaten season in the Southend Junior League.

Every weekend they have been facing off against boys’ teams from across the city and have proved they were more than up to the challenge.

Echo: Bond - The Concord teamBond - The Concord team (Image: Tony Bailey)

The team was pushed into boys’ football by Sofien Davis, 44, who has fought to mentor the girls and prove they have a place in the traditionally male world of football.

Sofien said: “With managing a girls’ team who were, for the first time, crossing over into boys’ league, I was a bit apprehensive.

“At first, I didn’t know much about the girls’ league and originally I did it to introduce my daughter, Kyla, into girl’s football after playing all boys.

“After a few weeks of coaching the girls, I realised I had something special on my hands with massive potential.

“I look forward to coaching the girls and watching them play with pride and joy week in, week out and I cannot wait for the day that we represent Concord Rangers as their first-ever women’s team.”

Echo: Captain - Jasmine Addington Captain - Jasmine Addington (Image: Tony Bailey)

Tony Bailey, 35, whose stepdaughter Lola was top goal scorer on the team, has praised the group effort of the girls, for facing adversity and persisting in a league that is more difficult and harder to succeed in.

“I am so happy for them; it is such an incredible thing,” he said.

“They have had to struggle through thick and thin and what happened was, we started with big wins and were winning heavily when all the boys suddenly had growth spurts.

“The girls had to dig deeper over time and Sofien believes in them.

Echo: Coache's Daughter - Kyla DavisCoache's Daughter - Kyla Davis (Image: Tony Bailey)

“The girls have been inspired and they want to inspire others too. Girls are playing football younger and younger and Sofien is a great mentor.

“The bond the team had is like nothing you have ever seen.”

Tony has added that special praise goes to team captain, Jasmine Addington, 13, who “never runs out of steam” and has noted that the team working together is the only reason they have achieved such great success.