Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Manchester are to become an FA high performance centre for women’s football.

Working in partnership, the Manchester Consortia has been selected as one of just eight universities in the country to become a centre of excellence for women’s football.

The new initiative from the FA will provide an educational and community-based setting to recruit, develop and deploy coaches, who will lead and inspire player development specifically in the women’s and girls’ game.

Neil Hurren, Strategic Lead for Sport at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “We are delighted to be one of only eight universities nationally to have received this award, and look forward to working with colleagues at The University of Manchester, Manchester County Football Association and other key partners to develop Women’s Football.

“Our existing partnership with Manchester City Women’s FC has already opened up a number of exciting opportunities for our students and coaches, and we hope this new collaboration will take the development of the game to an even higher level.”

Vicky Foster-Lloyd, Head of Sport and Active Lifestyles at The University of Manchester, added: “In a city synonymous with football, it is fantastic news that a collaboration between The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University has been given the opportunity by the FA to develop and improve women’s football.”

The announcement follows The FA’s ‘Gameplan for Growth’ strategy, which was unveiled earlier in the year.  The strategy outlined The FA’s commitment to double participation and the number of fans in the women’s game by 2020, whilst creating a sustainable and successful high performance system to help England teams at every age group compete with distinction on the world stage.

Baroness Sue Campbell, The FA’s Head of Women’s Football said: “The establishment of these centres is a further proof point of The FA’s commitment to transform the future of women’s football in England. They will ensure aspiring coaches and talented players in all parts of the country have access to the best training and support possible, providing us with the greatest opportunity for success at all levels of international football.”

For further information about Women and Girls football go to www.TheFA.com/ForGirls.

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