Essex awarded Centre of Excellence

PUBLISHED: 09:42 27 May 2013

The FA has agreed changes to mixed football age groups for 2013/14 (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

The FA has agreed changes to mixed football age groups for 2013/14 (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Latest news from the Essex FA

The Essex FA can continue to positively develop the female game following news that they’ve been awarded an exclusive FA Girls Centre of Excellence (CofE) Licence for the 2013/14 season.

It enables the county to operate as one of only 31 such centres in the whole of England and nearly 80 players aged between seven and 17 will be accommodated within the playing programme, which involves four hours of training a week and weekly fixtures against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Middlesex, and Brighton.

There are also opportunities for exceptional talent to be recognised as 22 games are observed by FA national scouts, with elite players progressing through to Regional Elite Performance Camps and England training camps.

The licence had previously been held by the Colchester United Community Sports Trust (CUCST), who unfortunately ceased trading in mid-April.

It had been unclear which body the centre would subsequently sit under but, after meetings with The FA and staff from CUCST, the county FA submitted an application to ensure a Female CofE was accessible for young girls aspiring to play at the highest level within the East Anglian area.

Chief executive Phil Sammons said: “We’re delighted to have been appointed as one of the Centres of Excellence and it’s great news that we’re able to continue the excellent work Colchester United’s Community Sports Trust got off the ground.

“A number of England players at various age groups came through the Colchester system, not to mention a wealth of excellent coaches. We plan to maintain that excellent standard.”

Essex will challenge the skills and development of their players against other South-East Centres, and The FA’s aim for each centre is: “to allow players opportunities to access appropriate levels of coaching and support throughout the talent pathway, enabling the programme to reach our ultimate goal in producing elite English female players to compete on the world stage.”

The centre draws on the skills and experience of coaching, medical, welfare and administrative staff.

The Essex FA’s Centre is not only committed to the development of the players, but to the progression of its staff to ensure they are given the best opportunity, in the right environment, to have fun, learn and achieve to be the best they can be.

Player trials will be held at Shrub End Sports & Community Centre in Colchester on Friday June 14 (5-9pm); Sunday June 23 (9am-5pm, invitational).

Age group specific information will be published on very soon, with registration details to take part in the trial process.

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