ENGLAND goalkeeper Sandy MacIver is proving to be an inspiration to girl footballers in Winsford.

MacIver, 21, who hails from the town and is a month into an 18-month full-time contract with Everton in the FA Women’s Super League, recently led a training session for the Winsford Diamonds under nines teams.

Currently injured Witton Albion striker Rob Hopley, who coaches one of the under nines teams, was instrumental in Sandy taking time out to help out the Diamonds.

“I work with a lad who went to Weaverham High School with Sandy. I got chatting to her and she was more than happy to come down and meet the girls and take the session.

“The girls were really happy there was plenty of smiles on their faces.

Winsford Guardian:

Pictures: Karl Brooks Photography

“We have a few Everton fans in the team including my daughter Ella so they were the most happy!

“Sandy is a great role model because she’s from Winsford and has now made it as a professional footballer so it’s something to aspire to for the girls.

“Girls’ football is growing year by year. Moss Farm is packed every Saturday with girls’ football at the moment and it’s great to see.”

Winsford Guardian:

Pictures: Karl Brooks Photography

Such has been the demand for places at Diamonds, two teams are now being run in the under nines age group.

“We were getting really good numbers so we split into two teams a few months ago so the girls could get more game time,” said Hopley.

“I run one team and Shaun Fletcher runs the other. We all train together on a Friday at Winsford Academy 5pm to 6pm.

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Pictures: Karl Brooks Photography

“We are five-a-side at the moment but go to seven-a-side next season, so we are recruiting now ready for next season as well.

“We’ve been together about a year and the improvement is staggering. We’ve got two really good teams who are doing fantastically in the Cheshire Girls’ League.”

Everton re-signed England Under 21s international MacIver last month.

The former Blues Academy player rejoined the club after having spent three seasons with Clemson Tigers in the USA.

MacIver, who also had a one-season stint with Manchester City before starting a scholarship with Clemson, was handed a first senior England call-up by Lionesses manager Phil Neville last August for friendlies against Belgium and Norway.

The previous summer she was part of the England squad that finished third at the Under 20s World Cup in France and scooped the Golden Glove as the tournament’s best goalkeeper.

* Browse the image gallery above for more pictures from the training session