The FA and PFA’s joint Elite Coach Placement Programme gains momentum in the women’s game

Andy Spence with England U19s
England Women’s U19 training session. (Photo: Jon Super for The FA)

The FA and PFA’s joint Elite Coach Placement Programme, which is now entering its third successful season, has now picked up momentum across England teams in the Women’s game.

Rachel Yankey, Fara Williams, Mary Phillip and Coreen Brown will begin season-long coaching placements with England’s women’s development teams at St. George’s Park this month, with former England Women head coach Hope Powell providing the opportunity to be mentored during their placements.

England and Arsenal legend Rachel Yankey OBE will join the U19 squad, working with head coach Andy Spence, while head coach Lydia Bedford will have her U18 squad strengthened by former England defender Mary Phillip, who won 65 caps for her country and was the first women’s player to compete in two FIFA Women’s World Cups.

Fara Williams, England’s most capped international, will be embedded with the U17 squad under head coach Gemma Grainger whilst continuing her playing career with Reading. Meanwhile Arsenal Academy coach, Coreen Brown, will work alongside U16 head coach John Salomon. Brown was first part of the programme two seasons ago and was appointed as assistant coach with the former U14 squad.

The participants will be embedded with their respective technical coaching teams, assisting with the delivery of coaching sessions and participating in technical meetings before, during and after each international camp. They are all looking forward to sharing their experience of international football as well as them learning the art and craft of coaching on the international stage.

Photo: Jon Super for The FA

Earlier this month the four aspiring coaches, who already have their UEFA ‘A’ or ‘B’ licence, met online for their formal induction onto the Elite Coach Placement Programme.

The programme, which is jointly funded by the Professional Footballers’ Association, was introduced in 2017 to create opportunities for coaches from under-represented groups to work with the England national teams, aiming to build a bigger and more diverse coaching talent pipeline for the future.

The ECPP forms an important strand of The FA’s three-year equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, ‘In Pursuit of Progress’, which was launched in 2018 to drive meaningful change within the organisation and across the game, focusing on initiatives to promote equality and increase the diversity of those playing, officiating, coaching, leading and governing English football. ‘In Pursuit of Progress’ is a key part of The FA’s work towards tackling discrimination at all levels and ensuring opportunities are accessible for all.

Details of The FA’s year-two review of ‘In Pursuit of Progress’ can be found here.

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