Oxford United Women become FA Regional Talent Club

Oxford United Women have been accepted as a newly-created FA Girls' Regional Talent Clubs (RTC) which will be responsible for the delivery of elite gi

Following a six-month application process, 34 clubs and centres will deliver coaching and education to the best young female footballers in the country, on three-year licences.

The clubs have been grouped into three tiers, dependent on their facilities, workforce, coach and player development, performance service provision and the number of age groups they will work with. The clubs will also have FA funding aligned to their tier, which they are required to match fund a percentage of, and increased FA support.

RTCs have replaced the former Centre of Excellence model and will deliver enhanced coaching and support designed to improve the development of elite female players through the FA Girls’ England talent pathway.

As part of the changes, RTC age groups will run alongside the academic year, starting in September. For the first time, girls’ U10 and U12 teams will compete in Charter Standard youth leagues, to enable players to further develop both technically and physically. The older age groups will compete in FA organised fixture programmes against other RTCs.

The changes have been led by The FA’s Elite Performance Unit, which was set up in 2014 to manage the development of elite female footballers and coaches, to benefit the domestic and international game and support winning England teams.

Brent Hills, head of the Elite Performance Unit, said: “The introduction of Regional Talent Clubs will really enhance the development of the best young female talent in this country and ensure that clubs and centres are better supported in working with them.

“We’d like to congratulate all of the clubs that have been successful.  There were some excellent applications which bodes very well for the future of elite female football and the delivery of girls’ coaching.

“We understand that some players may be impacted geographically by these changes but we will work with them and their parents to find the right playing and development opportunities for them, as we want to keep the best female players in the game.

“Ultimately we are committed to growing the women’s game and developing winning England teams across all age groups and we are confident that these changes will help us deliver just that.”

Player trials for the RTCs will begin in June, with details on request at each individual club.  All players at RTCs will be eligible to be selected for England across all tiers.

Licences are awarded subject to Sport England and FA funding and continuing to meet licence criteria.

Tier 1 Licence:

Arsenal Ladies FC
Birmingham City Ladies FC
Blackburn Rovers Ladies
Brighton & Hove Albion
Leeds United
Leicester City
Liverpool Ladies FC
Manchester City Women
Manchester United
Oxford United FC
Southampton FC
York City FC Foundation

Tier 2 Licence:

Aston Villa
Bristol City Women’s FC
Derby County
Essex FA
Everton Ladies FC
Gillingham FC
Millwall Lionesses
MK Dons FC
Sheffield United
Stoke City
Teesside Sport

Tier 3 Licence:

Boston United
Charlton Athletic
Doncaster Rovers Belles
Durham Women FC
Nottingham Forest Ladies FC
Reading FC Women
Shrewsbury Town FC
Sporting Club Albion

More than 2.89million girls and women play football in England. To find out how you can get involved in Women & Girls' Football in Oxfordshire, please visit our website, or contact Sarah Wood, Football Development Manager for Oxfordshire FA.

Alternatively, you can also visit TheFA.com/Womens to find out more about where to play.

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