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Following Bristol Academy's Super League performance and qualification for the Champions League, Bristol City Community Trust is aiming to help develop the stars the future in the women's game by introducing satellite clubs across the city and local area.
Girls aged 14 and older benefit from the trust sessions which are fun, flexible and aimed at developing their technical and social skills. The Trust have also recruited female coaches to run the sessions, acting as role models, including one former Atletico Madrid and current Keynsham Town player, Vera Bernabe Puyol (pictured).
"It is quite interesting, because you can share your ideas and give me feedback so I think that this is a really wonderful opportunity," said Vera.
On top of the practical school football sessions, the trust will also be putting on junior football leaders and FA Level 1 courses to develop the girls' skills further. The project is run in partnership with Premier League 4 Sports, receiving key funding from the FA and Sport England, and aims to increase the growth of girls playing football across the region.
The Trust are now running ten after-school satellite clubs for girls aged 14-plus across Bristol and the surrounding areas, linking with grassroots football clubs to ensure there are seamless exit routes for those girls wanting to play in competitive fixtures and a club environment. The satellite centres are at University of Bristol, Bristol Metropolitan Academy (Fishponds), John Cabot Academy (Kingswood), Yate International Academy, Abbeywood School (Filton), Bradley Stoke School, Downend School, Hanham High School, Fairfield High School (Lockleaze), Mangotsfield School, Orchard School (Horfield).
Vicky Barlow, Community Development Officer, said: "We're trying to get as many youngsters through and already across the ten centres that we're running, we've seen a massive success. We are also working closely with Bristol Academy WFC and their first team players to act as role models.
"Lots of girls who have different levels of ages and abilities are coming through - the centres have been brilliant."
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