Accrington Stanley Women’s Under-18s are representing the club stateside this week.

The Reds youngsters are taking part in the prestigious Dallas Texans International Girls Cup in the USA, kicking their campaign off on Wednesday against Dallas Texans 2007 Girls Academy ECNL before further games on the yesterday and today.

The trip will be the experience of a lifetime for the girls and was only possible thanks to a monumental fundraising effort.

There has been significant support from businesses, both local and further afield#, including main club sponsors Sundown Solutions, e.l.f. Cosmetics UK, Macron North West - who provided the kit for the tournament, award winning London-based PR agency PuRe PR, Farleys Solicitors, Intelligent Search Ltd, CL Travel - who sponsored the water bottles, and U18s kit sponsor, Filter Fabrications.

Accrington Stanley Women also amassed more than £2,000 via the club’s JustGiving page, while funds were also raised at the Mayor of Hyndburn’s Charity Ball, which was held at Accrington Stanley’s hospitality venue last month, as well as at the Clayton Amateur Boxing Club fundraising event, which took place back in October.

Tournament host club Dallas Texans are ranked as one of the top youth soccer clubs in the United States with 18,000 players and 700 teams.

More than 200 teams from around the world participate in the tournament taking place over a week, running up to Easter.

It is an application-only event, and only the best teams are selected from hundreds of qualified applications the tournament receives each year.

Star performers representing Accrington Stanley Women include 16-year-old college student, Niamh Corrigan, who was voted Player-of-the-Match on just her second call-up with the first team. She was also last season’s Player’s Player of the Year and Parent’s Player of the Year for the club.

Lily Metcalf, aged 17, is another rising star who will represent Accrington Stanley Women on the world stage. Playing football since the age of eight, football is her passion and both players are currently studying sports to make it their career.

Sami Smithson, chair of Accrington Stanley Women, said ahead of the trip: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and support of so many people and businesses in helping us reach our goal of taking part in The Dallas Texans International Girls Cup.

“This is a significant moment in the club’s history and what an unbelievable experience it is going to be for our young players, we can’t wait.

“To each and every individual and business that has supported us, we can’t thank you enough and we are looking forward to making you proud in Dallas.

“Unfortunately, our youngest member of the squad, Ocean Flanagan, who received an England call-up last season and went on to be honoured captain, has broken her leg. We are all heartbroken for her and will be doing our best to make her proud, too.”

Accrington Stanley Women U18s played two friendlies in Dallas ahead of the tournament, including a narrow 3-2 defeat against Sting Soutar, which saw goals for them from Melissa Adamson and Corrigan, while a 4-0 win was secured against Sting Wilson a day later, with goals from Millie Dooley, Savannah Neill, Melissa Adamson and Grace Hindley.

Back at home, the Accrington Stanley Women first-team squad suffered a 3-1 defeat against Penrith AFC Ladies.

Despite a late consolation from Loulou Newton and further good chances for Kristian Perry’s side, it was not enough to secure any points for Stanley Women.