Published 22 July 2022 4 min read
Youth Football

Girls’ Emerging Talent Centre licences allocated

Written by:

Kieran Thievam

Girls’ Emerging Talent Centres across England will provide greater accessibility to the Player Pathway

We can today confirm the first 60 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 1722 to over 4200 by the end of the 2023-24 season. 

These numbers also present a 59 per cent increase based on the actual number of FA programmes, going from 39 programmes to 60, enabling greater access for players across the country. 

The funding has come from the Premier League's latest domestic broadcast rights package, which the Government signed off last year under the proviso that an additional £100 million must be invested over the next four years in a number of key areas across football, including the development of the women’s and girls’ game.

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 £1.75m 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'm delighted that the early signs show that we are well on track to achieve those aims. 

“We're 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 added: “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're 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.”

Licences were allocated on a regional basis allowing for greater geographical coverage, whilst providing greater accessibility for a larger pool of players. 

The full breakdown of confirmed licences can be found below: 

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 

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. 

For more information regarding the Girls’ ETC programme, please contact playerpathway@thefa.com 

WOMEN'S & GIRLS' FOOTBALL