Thursday 30 January 2014
Manchester City have confirmed their commitment to women’s and girls’ football with the launch of their girls’ community coaching programmes and some local schoolgirls who will benefit had a dream start last week with coaching lessons from members of City's relaunched women's team.
The commitment comes under the new Women and Girls Programme, a joint programme between the Premier League, The FA, the Football League and Sport England to provide new sessions for 14-25-year-olds with professional clubs across the country. It is based on the successful Premier League 4 Sport programme and aims to engage more than 6,000 female participants through community coaches from the 34 Premier League and Football League clubs on the PL4Sport programme.
"It’s a wonderful feeling to be part of a new era in women’s football at Manchester City"
One of the coaches to deliver the training sessions by City in the Community will be Jill Scott, a member of Manchester City Women’s Football Club, which was relaunched the same day at the Etihad Stadium.
Manuel Pellegrini, the Manchester City manager, and Patrick Vieira, the head coach of the City Elite Development Squad, attended the ceremony marking the relationship between Man City and women’s football, with a women’s team launched by CITC in 1988.
The team will play their first season in the FA Women’s Super League at the Regional Athletics Arena, after which they will move to the 7,000-seat stadium at City Football Academy for the 2015 season. On the day, girls from All Saints Catholic College, from Dukinfield, who are set to benefit from the programme got a dream start with a coaching session laid on by members of the Manchester WFC first team.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to be part of a new era in women’s football at Manchester City,” Steph Houghton, the captain, said. “Today’s event has been a great example of City’s commitment to the game and it was a pleasure meeting the original team; hopefully we’ll do them proud”.
Premier League clubs are in a unique position to increase participation in women and girls’ football, says Richard Scudamore, the Premier League Chief Executive.
“Not only can they attract participants through the power of the badge, but, critically, they can deliver a quality coaching experience,” he said at the launch of the Women and Girls Programme. “Clubs will be able to build on the success of Premier League 4 Sport to get more individuals than ever playing our national game.”
The attraction of big clubs such as Manchester City will play a huge part in encouraging more participation in women’s and girls’ football sessions, believes FA General Secretary Alex Horne.
“Manchester City and other professional clubs’ brands will attract more players and we know that qualified coaches will deliver top-class coaching sessions just where we need them,” Horne said. “It’s also a further step for us to try and deliver on the objectives we have set our ourselves over the next five years in delivering the ‘Game Changer’ strategy.”