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Published 29 September 2023 5 min read
Youth Football

Girls’ ETCs embark on second year with new licences allocated

Written by:

Courtney Vacher

The FA's Girls’ Emerging Talent Centres programme embarks on year two of the project, with six further licences allocated to clubs.

Centres across England will provide greater accessibility to the Player Pathway, after the programme received funding of £5.25million from the Premier League across a three-year period from 2022 to 2025, which will see the number of female players aged 8-16 engaged in our programmes across the country more than double from 1,722 to over 4,200 by the end of the 2024-25 season. 

The continued inspirational and record-breaking success from the Lionesses, in finishing second at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, continues to contribute to the growth of the base of the England Club Talent Pathway, with six additional licences allocated for years two and three of the programme, taking the total number of fully operational Centres to 73.

The national network of girls’ ETCs is aimed at girls aged eight to 16. The centres operate for at least 30 weeks per season and will be underpinned by five key areas: 

Better accessibility 
More inclusivity 
Reducing the impact of early selection 
More focused investment 
Providing more appropriate challenges 

The full breakdown of confirmed licences can be found below:  

North East: Carlisle United Community Sports Trust, Durham Women FC, Newcastle United Foundation, Sunderland Foundation of Light, Teesside University, York City Foundation  
Yorkshire: Barnsley Women’s FC, Bradford City FC Community Foundation, Doncaster Rovers Belles FC, Grimsby Town Sports and Education Trust, Hull City Ladies FC, Leeds United Foundation, Lincoln City Foundation, Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, Sheffield United FC 

North West: Blackburn Rovers Women FC, Blackpool FC Community Trust, Burnley FC in the Community, Chester FC Community Trust, City in the Community, Crewe Alexandra in the Community, Everton Women FC, Foundation 92, LFC Foundation, Manchester United Foundation, Preston North End Community and Education Trust, Westmorland County FA 

Midlands: Aston Villa Women FC, Birmingham City Women FC, Burton Albion Community Trust, Derby County Community Trust, Herefordshire County FA, Leicester City Women FC, Nottingham Forest Community Trust, Shrewsbury Town Football in the Community, Sky Blues in the Community, Stoke City Community Trust, The Albion Foundation, Wolves Women FC 

East: Bedfordshire County FA, Colchester United Community Foundation, Cambridge United FC, Ipswich Town FC Foundation, 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, Palace for Life Foundation, Tottenham Hotspur Women FC, West Ham United Foundation  

South East: AFC Bournemouth Community Sports Trust, Brighton and Hove Albion FC, Kent County FA, Oxford United FC, Pompey in the Community, Reading FC Community Trust, Southampton FC 

South West: Bristol City Women FC, Cornwall County FA, Devon County FA, Exeter City Community Trust, Dorset County FA, Forest Green Rovers FC, Plymouth Argyle Community Trust, Somerset County FA, Swindon Town FC Community Foundation 

Meanwhile, this summer St. George’s Park played host to the FA’s inaugural Girls’ Emerging Talent Centre (ETC) annual conference.

100 staff representing 73 Emerging Talent Centres attended the conference
100 staff representing 73 Emerging Talent Centres attended the conference

The event, running across two days in August, saw over 100 staff representing 73 Emerging Talent Centres (ETCs). The purpose of the conference was to bring key content to life through different colleagues across the FA, the Premier League and external guests utilising their areas of expertise to support centres in taking the learning back into their environments. The workshops were based around developing inclusive environments, Talent Identification and diversifying the talent pool, all of which were underpinned by a deeper dive into the purpose of the ETC Programme.

Centre managers and player development leads represented their ETC and were given the opportunity to participate in role specific workshops with the opportunity to take back the content and learning and implement in their environments. All delegates took part in an Unconscious Bias Workshop delivered by Taff Raham from our Professional Game Coach Development team and were also given the opportunity to delve deeper into regional participant data that enabled key discussions around how to enable greater equality, diversity, and inclusion through the programme.  

Alongside the delegates, the UEFA Women’s EURO Trophy and the Premier League trophy were in attendance. Delegates were also provided with the opportunity of a tour of the National Football Centre. Former England international, Barclays WSL player and PFA representative Fern Whelan provided an inspirational keynote over dinner sharing her experiences within the game as well as an introduction to the See It. Achieve It initiative, which focus is on addressing the lack of diversity in the Women’s Game.  

Next year's event will return to St Georges Park on Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 August 2024.

For more information regarding the Girls’ ETC programme, please click below.