The Premier League is funding The Football Association‘s new network of Girls’ Emerging Talent Centres to help grow the existing talent programme for women’s football in England.
The centres will be open to girls aged eight to 16, with the Premier League investing £1.75m per annum for the next three years.
Over a two-year transition period, these will replace the FA’s Advanced Coaching Centres forming a wide base at the entry point of the pathway.
“The centres will provide more opportunities for girls across the country to access enhanced coaching” – Neil Saunders, Premier League Director of Football
There are currently 29 Regional Talent Clubs and 10 Advanced Coaches Centres. The plans will involve up to 70 Girls’ Emerging Talent Centres across the country, allowing more players to be identified and supported.
The number of girls within the centres will rise from the current 1,722 to 4,200 by the end of the 2023/24 season.
“Premier League clubs are doing more than ever to support the growth of women’s and girls’ football and we are pleased to be working alongside The FA to provide funding for the new Emerging Talent Centres,” said Premier League Director of Football Neil Saunders.
“The centres will provide more opportunities for girls across the country to access enhanced coaching and will develop pathways within the professional and grassroots game, benefiting young players and clubs alike.”
Player Pathways Strategy
Overall, the enhancements will fulfil one of the central aims of The FA’s overall strategy for women’s and girls’ football in England, Inspiring Positive Change, launched in 2020, to provide a well-signposted, inclusive and accessible club player pathway that supports the talented girls and young women.
“We’ve undertaken a lengthy and comprehensive review of the current pathway structure,” said The FA’s Head of Women’s Technical Kay Cossington. It’s provided a clear future direction, based around five key areas of improvement, which all our new Emerging Talent Centres will embody.
“The women’s game is on its own unique journey. As it matures, so must the pathway that produces players capable of playing at the professional level. We’re also delighted to be working with the Premier League to support the delivery of the new Emerging Talent Centres.”
The five key areas of improvement which have been highlighted are:
– Better accessibility
– More inclusivity
– Reducing the impact of early selection
– More focused investment
– Providing more appropriate challenges
Organisations who will run the Girls’ Emerging Talent Centres include:
– Affiliated women’s football clubs in Tiers 1-4 of the Women’s Football Pyramid.
– The Club Community Organisations (CCOs) linked to Premier League, EFL and National League clubs.
– County FAs and FA Women’s High-Performance Football Centres.
The new Centres will operate for at least 30 weeks per season. Players aged eight to 16 can attend, depending on which age groups the specific Centre decides to attract.
For more information and questions, please contact PlayerPathway@TheFA.com.