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Local female football received a timely off-season boost this week as the Essex County FA Girls Player Development Centre (PDC) was given the green light for a second year in 2012-13, and invitations are now being extended to youngsters who'd like to take part in July trials for the new intake in three age groups.
Following the success of the first season, notification has recently been received that a funding and licence application was successful for the centre to run for a further campaign from the brand new synthetic turf facility at Shenfield High School in Brentwood. As a result, letters have been dispatched to the PE Coordinators of schools across the County to highlight that trials are fast approaching in the Under-15s, 13s and 11s age groups.
The PDC will provide extra training and support for players who are looking to progress on the FA female talent player pathway. It sits beneath the Centre of Excellence programme so players can still be involved with their grassroots clubs whilst playing for their county's centre. The FA's mission statement for the pathway is to allow opportunities for players to access appropriate coaching and support to suit their talent levels.
In a similar fashion to the first year, qualified coaches will run three squads at Under-11s (school years five and six as of September 2012), Under-13s (years seven and eight) and Under-15s (years nine and ten). Practices will be held once a week, and a number of fixtures will be played throughout the year. Female Football Development Officer, Sharon Brownlie, is aiming to build further on a progressive first year for the centre.
She said: "This is a really exciting time for female football in Essex, and we'd welcome any support for this successful initiative. Any teacher, coach or parent who feels they have players who are looking for that extra challenge should send in their trial nomination form as soon as possible. We'd be grateful if PE teachers could help to promote this opportunity to their female students and we're always here to answer any questions."
Trials for all age groups will be held on Saturday 14th July at Shenfield High School (on grass and Astroturf) in Alexander Lane. The Under-13s will run from 10.30am to 1.30pm, with the Under-11s and 15s following between 2:30 and 5:30pm. Players are advised that trial nomination forms must be downloaded from www.essexfa.com, completed in full and e-Mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 11th July, as 'walk-ons' cannot be accepted.
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