Football academy for girls to be opened at Ipswich Wanderers

Jasmine Hayward (left) and Sheshaney O'Connor will be joining the women's academy, having been part of the initial Ipswich Wanderers' academy this season. 
Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Jasmine Hayward (left) and Sheshaney O'Connor will be joining the women's academy, having been part of the initial Ipswich Wanderers' academy this season. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The town’s top non-league side, Ipswich Wanderers, are on the look-out for the next generation of female footballers.

The Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side are launching a girls’ academy which will allow school leavers the chance to study for a BTEC Level 3 in Sports Science or a Level 2 VRQ in Sport, will run side by side the boys’ course at the SEH Sports Ground at Humber Doucy Lane.

So far 13 girls have signed up for the academy, enough for the club to field a female side in the British Colleges’ League, but more spaces are available for potential students.

The academy will provide a pathway to Wanderers’ senior ladies’ team – who play in the Eastern Region Women’s League Division One – the girls expected to train five days a week as well as fulfilling their academic commitments.

New AFC Sudbury signing Rhys Henry, who played for Maldon & Tiptree last season, will spearhead the football side of the academy, with academy director Tom Page overseeing the education aspect.

“Once we realised there was the demand for such a facility, we were more than happy to provide such a course,” explained Mr Page.

“There is nothing like this really for girls in the area and it is an exciting time for women’s football from a national point-of-view at the moment.”

The boys’ academy only opened up last year under SCL, a leading provider of sports coaching & education working in partnership with sports clubs, colleges & Primary Schools in London & the south east, and played competitive football against academies from professional outfits such as Luton Town’s.

“The first year is always the hardest year and we have done well at the academy,” Mr Page added.

“One of our pupils is in the top-32 in the country when it comes to achievement, under the SCL banner, so we are really happy with the progress that has been made in our first year.”

Wanderers expect to be teaching more than 50 boys and girls from September in the classrooms at Humber Doucy Lane, with their first intake of second years returning to continue their studies.

Boys and girls interested in joining the Ipswich Wanderers academy can contact the academy director, Tom Page on 0758 1434688 or email Tom Page – thomas.page@wearescl.co.uk

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