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Doncaster Rovers Belles are delighted to announce that they have entered into a partnership with the North Yorkshire Girls Centre of Excellence.
The centre, whose Technical Director is Head Coach Gordon Staniforth, will change their name to Yorkshire Belles as of next season, and there will be a direct pathway from this centre to the FAWSL 2 side.
North Yorkshire Centre of Excellence has been running for several years now, and in that time has seen a number of England internationals pass through. At the recent European Under 17's Women's Championships, three of England's squad had come through this centre.
One such player, Jemma Purfield, broke into the Belles first team setup at the start of last season, making a name for herself at left back. Defender Cauren Webb also came through the centre, and recently signed for the Belles' Development Team.
The most recent graduate from the centre, Sophie Stamp, has also signed on for the Belles, and she said: "Signing for Belles gives me the opportunity to play at the next level and keep progressing. Hopefully I can get some appearances in the first team"
Her North Yorkshire teammate Eva Deering was excited about the link, as well as being appreciative of everything the centre had done for her, saying: "I've enjoyed making new friends and also developing as a goalkeeper. It's great that this link has given me the chance to train with Doncaster Rovers Belles, as I've enjoyed that a lot."
Head Coach Gordon Staniforth was also excited about the link: "For a long time now I've wanted to have a club with a direct link from the Centre of Excellence. I've been Technical Director for eight years now and one of the exit routes is to go to the highest club available, which just happens to be Doncaster Rovers Belles.
"I think being the only WSL team in the region, hopefully we can cream off the best talent. There's a definite ring to Yorkshire Belles, and people associate the Belles with Doncaster Rovers Belles.
"The name change has gone down really well. I think everyone has always wanted a concrete exit route, and now with Sophie Stamp, Jemma Purfield and Cauren Webb, that proves it works.
"We don't have the money to bring in the internationals from overseas, and we can't afford big wage structures so we're having to build from the very bottom. The Talent ID pathway for the FA is through the Centres of Excellence, and we can take advantage of that."
Trials are being held for the next intake of Yorkshire Belles Centre of Excellence players soon, with trials available on June 14, 21 and 28 at York College. Trials on these dates will be held from 10am to noon for girls born between 2002 and 2007 and from 1pm to 3.15pm for girls born between 1998 and 2001. For more information, contact Gail Colling on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone at Doncaster Rovers Belles is looking forward to working with the North Yorkshire Centre of Excellence, and hope that the link will be a fruitful and effective one.
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