Thousands of young women and girls from across the country will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the Lionesses, following an expansion of a programme between the EFL Trust and the FA.
The Talent Inclusion Programme helps identify talented female participants from all parts of the community and will now be run across 54 EFL Clubs. The aim of the programme is to ensure social class, ethnicity and demographics are not a barrier to success.
The programme aims to create a pathway for young women and girls from local communities, no matter what their background, to full England Women’s honours with EFL Clubs encouraged to develop tailored activity based on their local area. Those that show promise can then referred into The FA Women’s England Talent Pathway and their progress will be monitored.
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Nicol Meredith, Talent Inclusion Project Manager at the EFL Trust, said: “Following the success of the Lionesses at the European Championships this Summer, it is crucial that we continue developing and uncovering the hidden potential of female footballers. EFL Clubs are in the heart of their communities and are actively working in areas that need the most help. The Talent Inclusion Programme provides young women and girls in those areas with an exciting opportunity and we are delighted that 54 EFL Clubs will now be part of the programme.
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with the FA. Our EFL Trust network engage thousands of girls on a weekly basis, therefore we have the perfect platform to ensure the talent pathways are easily accessible.”
In the last two years, 32 EFL Clubs who are already taking part in the programme have made 123 referrals to the FA Women’s England Talent Pathway:
- One of those referrals has been called up to represent England Women at Under 15s.
- 19% are continuing to be monitored with two already on national talent camps
- 34% of players referred are from low social economic communities
- 16% of players referred are from an ethnically diverse background
Kay Cossington, the FA’s Head of Women’s Technical, said: “The expansion of this partnership with the EFL Trust is a crucial part of our strategic priority to ensure any girl from any social class, ethnicity and demographic gets an opportunity, the opportunity to develop her talent, to flourish and go as far as she can in the game.
“Thanks to the EFL Trust’s support we now have 54 programmes with clubs in communities across England, allowing us identify the best talent and place them on a pathway to nurture them, offering those good enough the chance to reach the highest level of the game and the ultimate dream of international honours. We know there is a lot more work to be done but we’re confident this will have a tangible impact on the game and the future of England teams.”
The EFL Clubs and their Club Community Organisations (CCOs) taking part in the programme will also be supported by a training and education programme managed by the EFL Trust and supported by the FA.