Chichester is venue for new girls’ football centre

Girls' football in booming in Sussex
Girls' football in booming in Sussex

Brighton & Hove Albion’s official charity celebrated FA Girls’ Football Week by launching a series of new football development centres across Sussex, including one in Chichester.

Albion in the Community (AITC) already runs regular sessions aimed at local female players but is expanding its delivery by setting up four new centres.

As part of AITC’s commitment to encouraging more women and girls to play football, the charity is launching the centres with a special offer of just £1 for the first three sessions. After that, sessions are priced at £3.

The new centres will run in Crawley, Chichester, Worthing and Uckfield and join AITC’s regular sessions that already take place at the Albion’s American Express Elite Football Performance Centre in Lancing and venues in Worthing, Shoreham and Brighton.

Suitable for talented local players aged eight to 16, sessions will be led by AITC’s FA-qualified coaches and be based on Brighton & Hove Albion’s academy training syllabus. The centres get started at the end of November and will initially run until the end of March.

Mark Pedrick, AITC’s football pathway manager, said: “One of our key objectives at AITC is to encourage more girls to play regular football alongside providing more opportunities for new or existing players to develop their game.

One of our key objectives at AITC is to encourage more girls to play regular football alongside providing more opportunities for new or existing players to develop their game.

Mark Pedrick

“Our existing centres have proved incredibly popular, so we wanted to expand our delivery to other areas in Sussex. These four new centres will now provide more local players with the chance to benefit from regular coaching.

“They also represent a genuine pathway to the club’s women and girls’ academy set-up. In fact, in the last 12 months a dozen players have graduated from our sessions to the club’s academy.”

Laura Rafferty, who plays for Brighton & Hove Albion’s FA WSL two squad and is one of AITC’s official ambassadors, said: “One of the reasons I was so keen to get more involved with AITC is because I was impressed with the work it is doing in the area of girls’ football.

“These new sessions are a brilliant opportunity for local players and at just £1 for the first three sessions they are also excellent value.”

To book a place at one of AITC’s Girls’ Development Centres, visit www.albioninthecommunity.org.uk