England Supporters Club

Female Talent Pathway

Somerset’s Female Talent Pathway 

Somerset FA’s Girls Emerging Talent Centre (ETC) is a bespoke programme designed to support the development of Elite Female Players across the South West of England from U10s to U16’s.  Somerset are delighted to have been awarded the licence to run this programme over the next 3 years, from 2022/23 Season.

The FA recently conducted a full review of the female talent pathway over the last 2 years and following in-depth consultation, research and insight, has developed the new pathway ‘Emerging Talent Centre’ which will support players across each County area with a bespoke and holistic programme to support players with additional training development and fixture opportunities, whilst complementing the player’s grassroots club environment. 

The Purpose of an Emerging Talent Centre

To identify and develop future potential through local and accessible high-quality training environments.  Below are some of the key aspirations for the change to the female talent pathway model with the Emerging Talent Centre: 

  What we plan to do  How we plan to do it 
 1. Increase the number of environments to support player transition from participation to excellence Widen the base to increase the number of players at entry level age groups.
 2. Create a wide base to the pathway that’s fully inclusive and accessible to all players Become more accessible by creating localised affordable opportunities which allow players to continue their involvement in other sports and interests as well as football.
 3. Create a diverse player pool of which to select from
Encourage delayed selection for squads to offset recruitment bias, address the long- term impact of de-selection and move towards a later specialisation model.
 4.   Create a sustainable mechanism to identify, recruit and transition talent in and out of different playing environments

The Somerset FA ETC will provide a professional environment to allow Elite Female Players to reach their full potential within the game and have the opportunity to progress up the Player Pathway.

As well as additional coaching, players can expect to receive 1:1 support from their coaches, additional opportunities for learning outside of training, player reviews throughout the season, strength & conditioning programmes / training, GK specific Coaching for GKs, and support from FA members of staff around injury prevention and a Nike Kit package.

The Programme will continue to support the long term development of the players and provide them with the tools to achieve their goals while moving through the FA’s England Talent Pathway.

The Somerset FA ETC is hosted at Strode Sports Centre, Old Church Road, Street, BA16 0AB, on Wednesday evening between 6pm and 9pm on their 3G artificial pitch.

Foundation Phase (U10's/U12's (Year 4 & 7)

6pm – 7.30pm

U14's (Year 8 & 9)

7.30pm – 9pm

U16's (Year 10 & 11)

7.30pm – 9pm

The ETC provides extra training and support in addition to coaching the players receive at their grassroots club. Every player will continue to play for their club and receive extra coaching one evening a week from FA qualified coaches. This includes specialist coaching for goalkeepers. 
Players will also play in Regional ETC fixtures and festivals against other Emerging Talent Centres in the South West Region and a fixture programme that will involve playing against mixed teams predominantly during School Holidays and training time.

To be eligible for selection for the ETC, female players must be playing in an affiliated grassroots club and / or a competitive school team, during the 2022-2023 season.  We host trials to identify players selected to the ETC squads and as part of these trials, we align our characteristics with those of the Lionesses Characteristics – please see attached for Outfield and GK Characteristics.  We want our players to love football, enjoy playing football and be focussed, competitive and ready to learn in their player journey.  

For more information on the Emerging Talent Centre (ETC) please contact Rachael Lawler-Edwards;
rachael.lawler-edwards@somersetfa.com or 07951 360626 for further information.

Get In Touch

Rachael Lawler-Edwards

Football Development Officer - Female Participation and Inclusion


01458 832 359 Option 3

07951 360 626