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Women's Football News
Cheadle & Marple Sixth Form College is experiencing the dawn of a new era in women's football which is rapidly growing in popularity and status.
Following on the heels of its phenomenal success with the Men's Football Academy, the College is now a magnet for talented women footballers and now boasts its first unbeaten squad.
As Head Coach, Paul Kirkham, explained, "During our previous 7 years we have sustained an enviable reputation second to none for the professional environment we have established within our Football Excellence Academy. We have enjoyed superb successes both with the Academy team and with individuals who have progressed onto scholarships at prestigious universities in the USA or into the football profession as players or coaches. This is a new era for women and even though we have had female players previously, this is the first year that we have recruited sufficient for our first women's football team, who are currently unbeaten. We have been particularly impressed by the calibre and quality of the applicants, some of whom already play in Premier League clubs.
"The students are showing a lot of commitment both in their studies and their training. Because we promote a professional environment, it commands respect between the coaches and students and between the students themselves, therefore, they have bonded well as a team and are currently performing well on the field. Our recent Open Morning attracted widespread interest from other young women who already have an interest in football and recruitment is already underway for September 2008. We aim to have a squad of 20 females and progress women's football quite substantially in the North West."
Kate Bryan, 16, from Simmondley, Glossop, has been playing football since the age of five and is aware of the opportunities available within the profession. "The Women's World Cup was a major landmark moment for a fast growing sport and England climbed into the world's top ten for the first time after reaching the quarter final," she said. "The Football Excellence course at this college has parity for both sexes and the respect is mutual. It is also ideal in that I can develop my football skills and gain coaching qualifications whilst studying BTec Sport and AS Psychology. My aim is to work hard and hopefully apply for a scholarship in the USA where I can further develop my playing and coaching skills."
Jenni Smith, 16, from Failsworth has been playing football for 6 years and already has an enviable pedigree with clubs such as Manchester City Ladies, Failsworth Dynamos and Oldham Town. Her programme of study includes AS PE, English Language, English Literature and Psychology. As she says,"Cheadle & Marple Sixth Form College is the only college to offer a Football Excellence course alongside other academic studies. Its reputation, achievements and opportunities are what attracted me and the professional environment in which we train and work. I think that it is really important to have some academic qualifications so that it widens my career options as regards football coaching, teaching or sports writing."
Naomie Pitts, 16, from Cheadle Heath who is following in the footsteps of her brothers who also attended the College, added: "The College has an excellent reputation and my brothers were successful here, so I wanted a taste of that! Football is an excellent way to keep fit and I joined Stockport County 4 years ago. I wanted to continue my education and ensure that I gain some academic qualifications to support my interest in football."
Other Stockport County players, Rebecca Daugavietis-Cash, 16, from Adswood, Jade Malone, 16 from Edgeley and Jeneyah Webb, 17, from Cale Green all agree that it is the combination of football training, coaching awards, academic study and career progression which attracted them to the course.
Paul Kirkham added: "This is an exciting time for Women's Football and because there are relatively few talented players or coaches, they are much in demand with many superb opportunities available. Here at Cheadle & Marple Sixth Form College we focus on the professional aspects of the game and create an environment where our students excel. We want to hear from any females who are currently playing or developing their football skills and want to aim for the premier league. Our Training Days in 2008 provide an opportunity for any potential students to come and see what we do."
Further information regarding the Football Excellence Programme and Academy is available from Admissions, Cheadle (0161) 486 4602 or Marple (0161) 484 6602.
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