60 Girls’ Emerging Talent Centre Licences Announced

In exciting news, the Football Association (FA) have shared that the first sixty 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.

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.

I have never been a fan of the Regional Talent Club (RTC) structure. While it unquestionably offers a great environment for players to develop into the elite levels of the women’s game, it never sat well with me how those clubs just hoovered up all of the best talent within the area.

I have spoken to many clubs who continued to lose players to rivals despite them believing that if the FA opened up the RTC licences then they themselves would be able to operate at that level. Surely if that was the case then offering that increased support and funding to more clubs will raise the standard of women’s football throughout the women’s football pyramid.

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.

Photos: @Lionesses

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.”

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, Better accessibility, more inclusivity, reducing the impact of early selection, more focused investment and 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.

In addition to those licences already confirmed, The FA will be staging a second invitational application window for eligible clubs and organisations in targeted areas to further support the aim of greater geographical coverage and access. The full list is…

North East

Durham Women FC

Newcastle United Foundation

Sunderland Foundation  of Light

Teesside University

York City Foundation

Yorkshire

Barnsley Women FC

Bradford City Community Foundation

Doncaster Rovers Belles FC

Hull City Ladies FC

Leeds United Foundation

Lincoln City Foundation

Rotherham United Community Sports Trust

Sheffield United FC

North West

Blackburn Rovers Ladies FC

Blackpool FC Community Trust

Chester FC Community Trust

Crewe Alexandra in the Community

Everton Women FC

Liverpool FC Women

Manchester City in the Community

Manchester United Foundation

Preston North End Community and Education Trust

Midlands

Aston Villa Women FC

Birmingham City Women FC

Burton Albion Community Trust

Derby County Community Trust

Shrewsbury Town Football in the Community

Stoke City Community Trust

West Bromwich Albion Women FC

East

Bedfordshire County FA

Colchester United Community Sports Trust

Cambridge United FC

Ipswich Town FC

Milton Keynes Dons Sport and Education Trust

Northampton Town Community Trust

Norwich City Community Sports Foundation

Peterborough United FC

Stevenage FC Foundation

Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust

London

Arsenal Women FC

Brentford Community Sports Trust

Charlton Athletic Women FC

Chelsea FC Women

Leyton Orient Trust

Tottenham Hotspur Women FC

West Ham United Foundation

South East

AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust

Brighton and Hove Albion FC

Kent County Football Association

Oxford United FC

Reading Women FC

Southampton FC

South West

Bristol City Women FC

Cornwall County FA

Devon County FA

Dorset County FA

Forest Green Rovers FC

Plymouth Argyle Community Trust

Somerset County FA

Swindon Town FC Community Foundation