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Gemma takes on new Blackburn role
 Women's Football News 2 Nov 2007
Gemma takes on new Blackburn role - 2 Nov 2007 - Women's Football NewsBlackburn Rovers have made an appointment designed to further enhance the success of the club's thriving ladies section.
Former community coach Gemma Donnelly has left her position at the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre to take on the role as the club's new Women's & Girls Development Officer.
Gemma, who joined Rovers' Community Department in September 2003, will work closely with all departments of the club to co-ordinate, promote and further develop the Girls & Ladies section both on and off the pitch.
"This latest step demonstrates the club's commitment to Girls & Ladies football at Blackburn Rovers, which is great news both for me and all the players," said Gemma.
"I will be able to tap in to the expertise and global knowledge of all departments at the club, as we seek to influence the success of the ladies section and plan groundbreaking initiatives to secure long-term sponsorship for our first team squad.
"The club have shown fantastic support, both to me on a personal level with this new appointment, but also on a financial front from the first team right through to the Centre of Excellence, including the use of the club's multi-million pound senior training complex at Brockhall.
"I currently have a degree in Sports Science and hope to achieve my Masters in Sports Management by this time next year, which the club have fully supported. They have encouraged professional development throughout and this will have a beneficial knock-on effect to the role I am now undertaking."
Blackburn, managed by Adam Lakeland, achieved unparalleled success during its first year of top-flight football last season, reaching the FA Cup semi finals and finishing in the top half of the National Division table, but Gemma also admits that a key focus will be aimed at the development of youth talent.
Gemma, who is also Rovers' Centre of Excellence co-ordinator, will work alongside director Dean Grice to potentially produce a crop of England stars for the future.
"Both myself and Dean are very keen to develop Rovers' Centre of Excellence into the best school in the country," Gemma added.
"With Dean's expertise as an FA county development manager for West Riding and my seven-year background and knowledge of girls football, coupled with the recruitment of a talented workforce, we firmly believe we can take the Centre of Excellence into uncharted territories."

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