Scotland women’s national coach, Anna Signeul, was at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility today to kick-off the latest Scottish FA Women’s Regional Performance Centre.

The centre, based at the Ravenscraig facility and Motherwell College, and in partnership with North Lanarkshire Leisure, will give the best young players in the region the opportunity to combine football with their studies.

Anna Signeul said: “The regional and national performance centres are crucial to the development of our elite young players. I’m delighted that we are able to expand the network yet again, using the fantastic sporting and educational facilities here at Ravenscraig and Motherwell College.

“The programme is already bearing fruit, with our young players developing through increased training sessions and access to sports science services on their doorstep. A number of performance centre students have already established themselves within our women’s national teams, and thanks must go to all of our partners in the programme for helping to shape the future of the women’s game in Scotland.”

Blane Dodds, Chief Executive of North Lanarkshire Leisure, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Women’s Performance Centre to Ravenscraig.

“Having hosted an International match between Scotland women’s under-15s and Germany shortly after the launch of Ravenscraig, this latest announcement is fantastic recognition for the facilities at the centre.”

Jim Logue, Chair of North Lanarkshire Leisure added: “Having recently announced that Braidhurst High School in Motherwell will become a Performance School as part of the Scottish FA’s Performance Strategy, this latest announcement that the Women’s Regional Performance Centre will be based here is another huge boost for the game in North Lanarkshire.

“Our partnership working with the Scottish FA has always proven to be an outstanding success and this latest initative is another exciting development.”

This is the fifth regional centre, with programmes also running in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen, plus a Women's National Performance Centre based at Stirling University.

The training and support programme at each performance centre is designed to help talented students to reach their sporting potential. The aim is to help young players to achieve or maintain a place in Scotland’s national squads, whilst encouraging them to continue their studies in Scotland.

As well as specialist coaching, players benefit from a sports science programme including performance analysis, psychology, strength and conditioning, nutritional advice, and lifestyle management.

To gain entry to a performance centre, players must have the necessary qualifications to get on to their chosen course at one of the partner universities or colleges (it doesn't need to be a sports-related subject). Their football skills will be assessed by Scottish FA regional and national staff.

The performance centres are run by the Scottish FA in partnership with The Scottish Football Partnership, local authorities, universities and colleges and women’s football clubs across the country.

For more information, and details of how to apply for one of the Scottish FA Women’s Regional Performance Centres, click here...