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British universities & Colleges Sport

University experience is developing women's football 25/11/2008


Women's Football in HEWomen’s football at university is getting stronger by the year and is seeing a steady increase in the number of students wanting to play for their teams. This year an additonal eight women’s teams joined the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) leagues, taking the total to 155 teams that play competitively every Wednesday afternoon. Many of these students also play for club sides, with the very best playing at the highest level in the FA Women’s Premier League and for England U20 & U23.

This includes 21-year-old Fulham midfielder Charlotte Young, who is currently studying for a Masters degree in Applied Exercise Science and Nutrition at Oxford Brookes University. Celebrating her first call up to the camp, she will be able to draw upon her experiences as a member of the English Universities side that had a lot of success last season. She is joined in the U23 training camp by fellow students Sophie Perry (University of Brighton), Carla Cantrell (Leeds Met) and Kelly McDougall (University of Northumbria) as well as former English Universities players Levi Penny and Corinne Yorston. All of these girls, as well as Kelly Lawrence, who studies in the USA and U20 starlets Ashley Baker (USA) and Sophie Walton (Leeds Met) are eligible to represent Great Britain at the World University Games in Belgrade in July 2009.

More information on the England U20's squad that are currently competing at the FIFA U20 Women's World Cup can be found by clicking here.

Many of the player's that are selected for the World University Games squad will be drawn from the English Universities Women's side. Player nominations for the English Universities Chloe JonesWomen's trials are now open. The information and the nomination form can be found by clicking here. The closing date for nominating player's is Tuesday 23 December 2008. It is hoped that more players than ever before will be nominated due to the high standard of women's football in the BUCS leagues.

The experience the female students get from playing regular football at university is nurtured by some excellent coaching and development programmes that are being set up in Universities across the country. A great example of the partnership opportunities between Universities and club football can be found at Leeds Met Carnegie. Chris Welburn, Head Coach of the Women's Football Programme, a ‘UEFA B' Licence Coach, combines his role at Carnegie with coaching at Leeds Carnegie Ladies First Team who play in the FA Tesco Women's Premier League. More recently Chris has begun to deliver on the FA's Women's Strength and Conditioning Programme for International Players at U23 and U19 level.

At a senior International level, Hope Powell’s team benefit from working with Sports Psychologist, Misia Gervis, Senior Lecturer in Sport Science at Brunel University. She also delivers on the FA Level 5 Psychology for Football Course, recently attended by England U21 Head Coach, Stuart Pearce. At the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 6 of the 8 England Staff were graduates, including experience at previous World University Games. This highlights the impact that the Higher Education sector has on developing players, international teams and coaching staff and can only get stronger.

English Universities Women's Squad

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