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Five years ago today, Hackney Laces was born. Back then we had no idea what we were doing. I knew that my neighbourhood needed a football team for the high number of teenage girls that wanted to play. And I knew that I could find some space and rally together some friends to get involved. I didn’t know that we’d be inundated with players, or that more than 90% of our players wanted to be famous as their future aspiration.

I also didn’t know what peng or calm or butters meant. Or that when a young person in care turns 16 they get resettled on their own. I also didn’t know that my little pet project would consume my life (in the most amazing way) or that there were other women out there trying to do the same thing.

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Looking back I’m so proud that we’ve managed to exist for all this time, introducing so many girls to the glorious game. Looking forwards I am full of excitement for the army of laces that we haven’t met yet, and the ones who are just beginning.