AFC Leyton FC have established a new partnership with Arsenal Women after being awarded sister club status by the Gunners.

Arsenal, who beat Liverpool 5-0 in their opening match of the Women’s Super League season, provide the largest sister club programme in England to help motivate more girls to play football.

As part of the new agreement, players from AFC Leyton will get the chance to watch the Gunners or be flag bearers at some of their fixtures, to inspire the next generation of women’s footballers to pursue a career in the game.

AFC Leyton, who are based in Waltham Forest, currently offer professional training to girls aged between 5 and 17 and chairman Steve Hodges believes the new link-up will help the club to expand their coaching in the area.

He said: “Becoming a member of the sister club programme reflects our passion, commitment and ambition to help to grow women and girls’ football at a local level. We want to give AFC Leyton girls unique experiences and inspire more girls to join in, have fun and reap the many benefits of a team sport such as football”

Tom Hartley, Arsenal Women’s development officer added: “We are very proud to work with and support AFC Leyton to develop girl’s football. It is a really exciting time to be involved with the Women’s game in England, and we hope the support we provide will help inspire the next generation of Arsenal & England stars”.