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Rochdale AFC Appointed As Female Football Talent Hub

14 February 2022

Young females in Rochdale have been given the opportunity to be identified and referred to the FA Lioness Talent Pathway, thanks to a partnership between the FA, EFL Trust and Rochdale AFC Ladies and Community Trust.

The Talent Inclusion programme ensures that through the existing community activities of EFL Club Community organisations (CCOs), female participants can be identified and referred to the FA Lioness Talent Pathway. Social class, ethnicity and demographics should not be a barrier to success.

“We are delighted to be appointed as a Talent Inclusion Hub, supporting talented young female footballers to achieve their potential,” commented Ryan Bradley, Community Director at Rochdale AFC Community Trust and acting chair at Rochdale AFC Ladies.

“Rochdale is a hot bed of raw sporting talent and we now have the resources and pathways to identify talent and ensure players are developed to their full potential, whether that’s with Rochdale AFC Ladies, school, grassroots or within the England set up.

“It’s taken a lot of work by various people throughout the years to get us to this stage and we can’t wait to get started!”

Rochdale AFC Community Trust will be supported by an education and learning programme managed by the EFL Trust and supported by The FA.

For girls showing potential, the programme creates a pathway from community to full England honours, with an educated workforce that identifies and supports potential. 

Rochdale AFC Community Trust will develop their own talent ID programme, working closely with Rochdale AFC Ladies, schools and grassroots clubs.

There is no better time to be involved in female football in Rochdale. Rochdale AFC Ladies are currently recruiting for all teams, from u10s to u16s, and have appointed Emma Flynn as Female Football lead.

To get involved with Rochdale AFC Ladies, whether a talented player or newcomer to the sport, or to find out more about the FA Lioness Talent Pathway, please get in touch: Emma.flynn@rochdaleafc.co.uk 

The EFL Trust initially began the programme with a focused group of 10 CCOs, to gain an understanding of how to embed the programme practically and logistically, whilst getting to understand barriers and gain real community insight.

Longer term, the aspiration is for all English EFL clubs to engage with the programme.

Loo Brackpool, Head of Participation and Community Engagement at the EFL Trust said: “We are delighted to be continuing our work in partnership with The FA to really address areas of need. The EFL Trust network of Club Community Organisations delivers in some of the most diverse communities within the country, engaging thousands of girls on a weekly basis.

“We know there is talent out there, we just need to provide the opportunities by working with the network and The FA to make talent pathways more accessible by understanding local need and barriers.”


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