A GIRLS football team has proved they are more than a match for the boys.

Under-10s AFC Bolton ­— the only girls team in the Bolton Community Partnership League ­— are through to their first cup final.

They beat Horwich St Mary 2-0 and will face Horwich RMI Jets on June 19

This is the team's second season in the league and last year they made it to the semi-finals, but had to be called off because of the pandemic.

AFC Under-10 girls team

AFC Under-10 girls team

Coach Jen Winnard said: "They have played amazingly all season and have only lost two or three times.

"They are so excited to be through to the final, it is their first cup final."

The team was set up four years ago and its members have grown from around five to nearly 30.

The team was entered into the league two years ago because they kept winning their matches.

And any preconceptions the other teams may have had about the girls team soon disappeared once they faced each other on the pitch.

So talented are some of the of the players, they have been scouted by some of the larger football clubs.

Jen, who coaches the team alongside Rick Warburton and Liam Avison, said: "These girls are absolute trailblazers and I cannot be more proud of their achievements.

"To be the only all girls team in their league competing against taller, older and stronger boys is amazing but to be rising above the opposition and reaching a cup final is beyond what I ever dreamed these girls could achieve.

"No matter what happens in their cup final, they are winners to me, to the club and to their parents."

The girls have only played against Horwich RMI Jets once before and busy training for the big match.

Tilly Massey started playing football at the age of five after boys said she couldn't play because she was a girl and joined Strikerz FC

She said“We are feeling very lucky to have even got this far.

"We are excited and nervous for the final.

“Jen is working us very hard and she is determined to win. We are pretty confident after doing this well but not cocky - boys can be rough, but once they get frustrated they start arguing and lose focus, so we use that to our advantage.”

TACTICS: The team focus

TACTICS: The team focus

Tilly, who lives in Bromley Cross said: "I am very pleased that girls are being included in the sport more and more.

"A couple of girls I know that are not stereotypical 'Tomboys' feel like they can play now.

"Also those same boys that would not let me play earlier in school now play with me every week.”