The Premier League will fund the Football Association’s new network of Girls’ Emerging Talent Centres (ETCs) with more than £5m over the next three years.
The Premier League will invest a total of £5.25m – £1.75m each year for the next three years – in the new centres. There are currently 29 Regional Talent Clubs and 10 Advanced Coaching Centres nationwide, catering for 1,722 girls.
The plan is to create up to 70 ETCs across the country that are open for eight to 16-year-olds, aiming to offer high-quality coaching to 4,200 girls by the end of the 2023/24 season.
In 2020, the FA pledged to provide a well-signposted, inclusive and accessible club player pathway that supports talented girls and young women.
FA head of women’s technical Kay Cossington, said: “We’ve undertaken a lengthy and comprehensive review of the current pathway structure, and this has provided a clear future direction, based around five key areas of improvement, which all our new Emerging Talent Centres will embody.
“We’re also delighted to be working with the Premier League to support the delivery of the new Emerging Talent Centres.”
Premier League Director of Football Neil Saunders added: “Premier League clubs are doing more than ever to support the growth of women’s and girls’ football and we are pleased to be working alongside The FA to provide funding for the new Emerging Talent Centres.
“The centres will provide more opportunities for girls across the country to access enhanced coaching and will develop pathways within the professional and grassroots game, benefiting young players and clubs alike.”
The FA has identified five areas of improvement to its player pathway: better accessibility, more inclusivity, reducing the impact of early selection, more focused investment, and providing more appropriate challenges.
ETCs will be run by affiliated football clubs playing in the top four tiers of the Women’s Football Pyramid, Club Community organisations linked to league and National League clubs, and County FAs and FA Women’s High-Performance Centres.