The Football Association have confirmed the first 60 Girls’ Emerging Talent Centre [ETC] licences have been allocated.
Forest Green Rovers' have been awarded a license for the upcoming campaign, which will play a part in seeing 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. Today’s 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 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:
1. Better accessibility
2. More inclusivity
3. Reducing the impact of early selection
4. More focused investment
5. Providing more appropriate challenges
Earlier this year, the Premier League confirmed it will provide £1.75 million per annum for the next three years to support the new network of Girls’ ETCs.
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.
“We are extremely excited to be working alongside such a diverse group of clubs and organisations, which will help us identify players for the future, including future England Lionesses.”
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.
“We are pleased to have provided the funding which will significantly enhance the pathways for young female footballers, and it is great to see the first licences allocated for the new Emerging Talent Centres.”