GIRL power has propelled AFC Bolton onto a higher playing field where they really are putting equality to the test.

The all-girl team of under nines and ten-year-olds have proven their worth against the other girls around Bolton and Blackburn so they have been elevated into an all-boys league next season in the East Lancs Football Alliance, on Sundays.

AFC, whose home ground is at Ladybridge in Bolton, are also taking on the lads in the Bolton Community League on Saturdays to complete a busy weekend for the team that have so far conquered all before them.

Coach Jen Winnard is confident the girls success rate will continue to rise as they have already shown in a series of friendlies that they are more than ready and able to take on the boys.

AFC Bolton scored more than 150 goals in 20 games last season and in the past year have had five of their number training with the Blackburn Rovers’ Ladies Academy teams.

“Just the other night at training three of our girls were offered places in Manchester United’s Ladies under nines girls team,” said 28-year-old Jen, who hails from Bolton and plays as a centre back with Penwortham Town, CMB Bolton, Bolton and Bury.

“I have been playing football for 17 years and I would say our girls play better against the boys.

“It makes them more competitive. It’s a lot more physical. They want it more.”

One of the girls doing the business is Bury-based defensive midfielder Ella Wardle. She wins the ball and then sets up best friend Lily Hynes to bang the goals in for AFC Bolton.

They also turn out for a boys team with Ella’s twin brother Joshua in the Bury and Rochdale League.

And Ella knows she daren’t put a foot wrong, not that she usually does, because as well as Jen watching from the sidelines, her dad Darren just happens to be in charge of Bury and Rochdale League outfit Walshaw Warriors.