The Football Association [The FA] has confirmed the first 60 Girls’ Emerging Talent Centre [ETC] licenses 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. These numbers also present a 59% increase based on the actual number of FA programmes, going from 39 programmes to 60, enabling greater access for players across the country.
Thanks to funding from the Premier League, The FA recently unveiled plans to grow its existing talent programme for women’s football with the introduction of up to 70 Girls’ ETCs, aiming to sustain its future and provide a wider and more diverse talent pool for the game.
This announcement shows positive progress has already been made.
The national network of Girls’ ETCs will be aimed at girls aged eight to 16. The new Centre's will operate for at least 30 weeks per season and will commence from September 2022. The Centre's will be underpinned by five key areas: 1. Better accessibility 2. More inclusivity 3. Reducing the impact of early selection 4. More focused investment 5. Providing more appropriate challenges, Somerset FA with our new partner Ellevate is pleased to announce that we are one of the 60 centres across the UK.
Rachael Lawer Edwards, SFA Womens and Girls Football Development Officer added "We are delighted to be hosting an approved Emerging Talent Centre in Somerset. We have a long and successful history of hosting the talent pathway within Somerset and look forward to continuing this with the ETC programme and working with talented female players in our County. This review of the pathway and subsequent changes offers us even more opportunities and it is an exciting chance to further enhance and develop the talent pathway for our players, ensuring we have a full holistic programme in place for each player, to help them reach their potential."
Jon Pike SFA CEO added "We are delighted to continue to offer a centre to develop talented girls in the county, building on a long history of contributing to the talent pathway in Somerset. With the success of the Women’s Euros at present, we hope that Somerset can provide a future Lioness."
Sam Howell Head of Partnerships at Ellevate - Football
said "We’re delighted to be partnering with Somerset FA and their Girls’ ETC programme. This relationship furthers Ellevate’s commitment to developing young talent both on and off the pitch, and we are particularly excited to be supporting the players and coaches within the programme that will produce the next generation of female footballers."
These are an exciting times for football, especially the girls' game, across Somerset and for more information, to find a local club or just to see what SFA are up to across Somerset please visit our website at www.somersetfa.com