UON to support young, female football talent with new Emerging Talent Centre

Date 28.07.2022

The University is part of the county’s Emerging Talent Centre (ETC), a new initiative to support and develop young, female football talent.

Last Friday the Football Association [The FA] confirmed the first 60 Girls’ Emerging Talent Centre [ETC] licences have been allocated, which will see the number of young female players engaged in FA programmes across the country rise from 1,722 to over 4,200 by the end of the 2023-24 season.

Northampton Town FC Community Trust have been awarded Girls Emerging Talent Centre until 2025 to provide greater accessibility to the England Women’s Player Pathway.

This announcement shows positive progress has already been made, allowing the Northampton Town FC Community Trust the opportunity to work with the University of Northampton to develop local girls football further.

The national network of Girls’ ETC’s will be aimed at girls aged 8 to 16. The new centres will operate for at least 30 weeks per season and will commence from September 2022. The centres will be underpinned by five key areas:

  •  Better accessibility
  • More inclusivity
  • Reducing the impact of early selection
  • More focused investment
  • Providing more appropriate challenges

Luke Callis, Applied Sport Scientist at the University of Northampton, said: “The Sports team and I are extremely pleased to be partners of Northamptonshire’s Emerging Talent Centre (ETC). Along with Northampton Town Football Club our staff and students are ready to provide first-class, high-quality coaching and sport science support to local, female football talent.”

“With an increased focus and popularity in women’s football, Emerging Talent Centres are incredibly important. We share with ETC partners a long-term vision of developing and retaining local talent and very much look forward to working with them for these fantastic footballers.”

Kay Cossington, The FA’s Head of Women’s Technical, said: “Our key aims are to provide greater access for more players whilst diversifying the talent pool, and I am delighted that the early signs show that we are well on track to achieve those aims.”

Premier League Chief Football Officer, Tony Scholes said: “The Premier League and our clubs are committed to developing football at all levels and it is important that girls across the country have greater opportunities to progress in the game.”

Licences were allocated on a regional basis allowing for greater geographical coverage, whilst providing greater accessibility for a larger pool of players. The Northampton Town FC Community Trust will work alongside the University of Northampton to deliver the emerging talent centre over a three-year period.

Charlene Ward-Greef, Women & Girls Development Officer at NTFC CT said: “We are excited to be working with the FA as part of the female talent pathway and to be awarded a license to run the ETC at NTFC Community Trust.  We are extremely proud of our involvement in the progression of women’s and girls’ football so far and are keen to continue offering opportunities for the development of female players of the future, through this exciting new element to the female pathway.

“Our aim is to continue to impact players with our diverse range of opportunities for female footballers and help provide a suitable route in the game for all, the ETC ensures that we can do this for all elite female players.”

Trials for the 2022/23 ETC centre will be coming soon. Register your interest or for more information regarding the Girls’ ETC programme here or contact charlene.wardgreef@ntfc.co.uk