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Two of the UK's top young international footballers have joined the Academy of Sport at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre to tap into its coaches' professional expertise.
Advanced Level students Sadie Mitchell and Naomi Hartley, who are both 16, are perfecting the skills that they hope will take them to the highest level in the professional game alongside former Burnley FC players and experienced coaches Andy Payton and Gerry Harrison, as well as Fitness Evolution's award-winning fitness professionals.
Naomi, a centre back who captains England's Under-17s Women's Team and is a member of Liverpool FC's Women's Team, said: "My goal is to become a professional footballer and reach the top of my game: the Academy of Sport is certainly helping me towards that. It is great to have former professional players coaching me, studying all aspects of my game and using their own experience to help me reach a new level is awesome.
"I'm focused on my future career in football and I know all the expertise and experience of the Academy of Sport staff is right behind me."
Sadie, a winger who is a Scotland International and Manchester City Women's team reserve, said: "The Sports Academy at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre is really helping me to grow as a player and I'm learning so much.
"It's not only training with such amazing coaches and developing as a player, it's the gym sessions that are specially designed to increase my strength and stamina and it's the classes on nutrition, anatomy and physiology that are really giving me the edge, too."
As part of their studies, Naomi and Sadie are also receiving outstanding tuition in the classroom on subjects including fitness testing and training; sports coaching; anatomy and physiology; injury in sport; psychology in sports performance; sports development; leadership development; nutrition for sports performance; planning and leading sports activities and business for sport.
Both Naomi, a former Blessed Trinity RC College student, from Burnley, and Sadie, from Colne, a former Fisher-More RC College student, developed their love of football as six-year-olds at Burnley Football Club sessions. They have both progressed through the ranks of the Clarets' junior girls' teams and played for Blackburn Rovers girls' teams, too, before their exceptional talent was recognised by Manchester United scouts.
Naomi has represented England at international level for three years and played in Germany, Italy, America and Norway, as well as playing against Sadie in an international match against Scotland, hosted in Latvia.
Naomi said: "I am so proud to represent to my country. It's a great honour and a real chance to test myself against some of the best players in the world. Thanks to the Academy of Sport, I'm in the strongest possible position to retain my place and progress to the next level."
Ashley Alderson, of Burnley College Sixth Form Centre Academy of Sport, added: "Both Sadie and Naomi have great professional careers ahead of them and we're proud to be part of their journey here at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre Academy of Sport. Our coaching staff, our facilities and training methods are all geared towards producing the very best athletes who will compete at the highest level top of their games. Naomi and Sadie are shining examples of what can be achieved - with commitment and drive - at the Academy of Sport."
Have you got the talent and skills to make it to the top in your chosen sport? Find out more about how the Sports Academy at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre could support your journey to the top. Call 01282 733 250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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