The FA has unveiled plans for eight Women’s High Performance Football Centres based at Universities across the country.
A key role for the new centres is to support and drive The FA’s ambition to increase the number of qualified coaches and improve the quality of coaching, both central to the growth of the women’s game.
The centres will provide an educational and community-based setting to recruit, develop and deploy coaches, who will lead and inspire player development specifically in the women’s and girls’ game.
Establishing a connection with the England talent pathway and FA WSL clubs, the centres will provide talented players with an environment to facilitate both their academic and football ambitions, providing a variety of services such as, coaching, sports science and sports medicine and scholarship opportunities.
In addition, The FA Women’s High Performance Football Centres will create the next generation of the game’s behind-the-scenes workforce, whether as volunteers, administrators or development staff.
The announcement follows The FA’s ‘Gameplan for Growth’ strategy which was unveiled earlier in the year. The strategy outlined The FA’s commitment to double participation and the number of fans in the women’s game by 2020, whilst creating a sustainable and successful high performance system to help England teams at every age group compete with distinction on the world stage.
The following eight universities have been selected based on their ability to deliver against the six key focus areas including coach development, collaboration with existing local football providers and supporting the England talent pathway:
- University of Birmingham
- University of Chichester
- University of Gloucestershire
- Manchester consortia – Manchester Metropolitan University & University of Manchester
- Northumbria University
- Nottingham consortia – University of Nottingham & Nottingham Trent University
- Sheffield Hallam University
- St Mary’s University
Baroness Sue Campbell, The FA’s Head of Women’s Football said: “The establishment of these centres is a further proof point of The FA’s commitment to transform the future of women’s football in England. They will ensure aspiring coaches and talented players in all parts of the country have access to the best training and support possible, providing us with the greatest opportunity for success at all levels of international football.”