In February 2022 Blackpool FC Community Trust invested in a full-time Female Football Development Manager in order to expand our current offering for female football, and to ensure that the growing demand for girls’ football throughout Blackpool and Fylde can be satisfied. On the back of the England Lionesses fantastic achievement winning the European Championships earlier this summer, girls’ football is now gaining much more media attention, and more girls than ever are now excited to play and emulate their idols.
In the last 8 months Blackpool FC Community Trust’s female football provision has engaged with around 250 girls in a wide variety of sessions including Primary Schools, FA Wildcats Sessions, structured coaching sessions, Premier League Kicks session, girls-only football camps, and offering to run the area’s first-ever girls district team. The ultimate aim is to use the brand of Blackpool FC to engage with as many girls as possible and help grow girls’ football throughout the whole of the Blackpool and Fylde area to benefit every local grassroots club and the local leagues.
One of Blackpool FC Community Trust’s biggest accomplishments was being granted a licence to run a Girls Emerging Talent Centre. We are one of only 8 clubs in the North West to have been offered the prestigious programme, which will offer elite training for the most talented players in this area, with the aim to progress more girls onto the England Talent Pathway and feed them into the England Lioness youth squads. The programme is designed to be a central hub for local talented female players from Blackpool, Fylde and the surrounding areas and will work in partnership with grassroots clubs to ensure the offer is beneficial to grassroots players. The Emerging Talent Centre will work with grassroots clubs, schools and local coaches to identify talented female players for this elite training experience. Most importantly, all girls selected will be able to carry on training for their current grassroot clubs, as well as playing for them on Saturdays and Sundays, whilst also having access to professional coaches at the Emerging Talent Centre.
The Trust plan to offer a comprehensive approach to player development, giving all girls selected access to a high-quality training programme, strength and conditioning coaches, access to onsite physiotherapist, goalkeeper-specific training, nutritional advice and health and wellbeing support. This programme will be offered free to all girls attending enabling us to remove any financial burden often faced when trying to access elite level training. Groups will also be invited to play in competitive games against other ETC/RTC programmes.
Over 270 girls initially applied to trial for the Emerging Talent Centre, which offers elite training for four squads – u10s, u12s, u14s, and u16s. This has been whittled down to just 65 girls, all deemed to be the most talented players at their age groups, and who have been selected for the 30-week programme which we aim to launch in January. We have girls who currently play for a wide variety of local grassroots teams, which shows how much talent there is in this area of the country. Talent ID will play a major role in the success of the Emerging Talent Centre, and we will ensure that if there is a girl in Blackpool and Fylde who has the talent to play for the England Lionesses, that no stone will be left unturned in order to find her and support her on her journey.
We are currently looking for eight football coaches, a goalkeeper coach, a physiotherapist and a strength and conditioning coach to join our team in supporting local girls through our Emerging Talent Centre.
If you would like more information on the Emerging Talent Centre, please get in touch with email@example.com