Motherwell FC Community Trust (MFCCT) and Braidhurst High School have teamed up to form an elite girls’ School of Football section.
The Girls Premier Player Programme is among the first of its kind in Scotland and is based on the highly acclaimed model from Rosengard in Sweden.
“It will initially run from October to June and involve eight girls in S2 who attend Braidhurst,” explained Carolyn Rooney, Head Teacher of Braidhurst High School.
“Our aim is to promote the programme to girls currently in P7 across the whole of North Lanarkshire. From January 2016 the very best young female players in North Lanarkshire will have the opportunity to apply for a place on the programme with all successful applicants receiving the offer of free transport to the school from the start of term in August 2016.”
Braidhurst is one of seven Scottish FA Schools of Football, as well as the Scottish FA Performance Programmes.
Anna Signeul, national coach of the Scotland women's team, attended the launch and said: “This is a great initiative involving the school, the council and Motherwell FC Community Trust. I would like to see this model developed across Scotland; it is innovative, and will benefit girls’ football at all levels.
“For the girls themselves, it gives an opportunity to develop social skills, footballing skills, self-confidence and gives them a feeling of belonging in a team environment.”
Cllr Jim Logue, Convener of Learning and Leisure Services, said: “This is a really exciting development not just for the girls who are taking part in the pilot but eventually for young talented female footballers across North Lanarkshire.
“Braidhurst School of Football has been a terrific success so it’s a natural development to include a girls section.
“We’ll work in close partnership with the Trust to identify, encourage and mentor those taking part.”
Motherwell FC Community Trust was founded in 2011 with the aim of increasing participation in football to inspire and motivate people and communities.
Since then they have created a successful female player pathway for girls from Under 9’s to Under 17’s with eventual progression to the full ladies team.
Charlie Bennett, Motherwell FC Community Trust General Manager, said: “We’re really excited to be part of this innovative project. Girls’ football is the fastest growing sport in Scotland and this initiative will help contribute to the development of talented players. ??“Braidhurst High School already has a fantastic reputation for developing footballers and we look forward to working with them.”