NEWS: Durham Women Invited To Join FA WSL Academy Programme

Durham Women FC are delighted to announce that the club have been invited to take part in the FA WSL Academy Programme for the 2022/23 season.

The invitation is the continuation of an FA pilot programme which the club have been a part of for the last two seasons and will allow the most talented footballers between the ages of 16 and 21 to access the programme in the North East for the first time.

The FA WSL Academy Programme is a dual-career offering, allowing young footballers in the region the chance to balance their football development with their educational aspirations.

We will look to support all individual players joining the programme in their educational pathways, both current and future. We also have dual-career partnerships with Durham Sixth Form Centre, Bede Sixth Form (Tees Valley), Newcastle College and Durham University.

Players on Durham Women FC’s Academy programme will benefit from a full-time football programme in Durham delivered by dedicated Academy staff, while players will also have access to outstanding medical and performance support via TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme).

They will play as part of The Barclays FA WSL Academy League – which includes teams such as Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool – and cup competitions.

And having helped to develop some of the most talented players in England since its inception in 2018, the FA WSL Academy programme will now come to the North East for the first time at Durham.

Commenting on the announcement, Lee Sanders said: “I am delighted that we will take the next step of the pilot programme by entering the FA WSL Academy League – not only for the club but for the North East region and the players and coaches within it – because of the opportunities that come with it.

“We have worked extremely hard over the years to build a sustainable pathway at the club and thank all staff past and present, for the work they have put in, and over the last two years of the pilot programme alongside The FA the extension to this work has been exceptional.

“We have competed extremely well in The FA WSL Academy Cup over the last three years – with some of those players already gaining first team experience – and to have these fixtures weekly in Durham will hopefully support our young players’ development.”

“We have outstanding educational partners whilst also recognising the support some players will need who are part way through their education too. Education is a huge part of the club’s DNA and we have several first team players who have all benefited from that dual-career ethos. 

“If you’re a talented 16-21 year old in the North East or in your final year of an RTC then this is a great opportunity ”

Expressions of Interest

We are now accepting expressions of interest from players who will be aged 16-21 (as of September 2022) who have experience of being in a Regional Talent Club environment – or have the necessary playing experience at FA Women’s National League level or above (Tier 3/4).

CLICK HERE to complete our Expression of Interest Form.

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