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Bridging the gap

October 24th, 2012 by · No Comments · Features, Football

Overhaul of Centre of Excellence structure should help England Women in future.

Danielle Carter - Arsenal and England U19 forward in action against Finland

Consecutive World Cup quarter final appearances (2007 & 2011) and a European Championship Final defeat to Germany (2009) is proof of England Women’s steady ascent in the international game. The gap between contenders and silverware, however, is one still to be bridged.

Last summer saw an overhaul of The FA Girls’ Centre of Excellence programme, a move which aims to improve the quality of the women’s and girls’ game at every level. Previously 52 centres around the country fell under the Centre of Excellence banner, providing a development programme for girls between 8-16 years of age. Although the structure provided many benefits, it was felt talent was being increasingly diluted.

“When the U15 international squads came to us, they were lacking various parts of their individual development, whether that was technical, tactical or physiological,” explained Kay Cossington, FA Project Manager for Girls’ Football and U15 Head Coach.

“The jump between the Centres of Excellence and international football was far too big. The jobs we were doing at International level were really what should have been going on at Centres of Excellence.”

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