Women’s game doing ’Well at Fir Park

Scotland manager Anna Signeul joins Motherwell youngsters to launch the MFC Community Trust Girls Performance Centre
Scotland manager Anna Signeul joins Motherwell youngsters to launch the MFC Community Trust Girls Performance Centre
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Scotland manager Anna Signeul helped launch Motherwell FC Community Trust’s new Girls Performance Centre last week.

The centre is designed to increase participation in football for girls and women between the ages of 7 and 17 and develop the elite players of the future.

It will provide a professional framework to develop female players by employing a long-term development model which will transition the player through key stages in their career.

The centre will also deliver a wide range of other functions including player welfare, physiotherapy, injury clinics, sports science, sports psychology, performance analysis, diet and nutrition, player recruitment, player profiling and progression.

Based in Fir Park Stadium, players will have access to state of the art 3G pitches, sports barn, cardio room, fitness room and classrooms.

Uniquely the under-9 and under-11 squads will travel to Fir Park after school to use the Learning Centre where a tutor will provide support for homework assignments before training sessions.

Under-13 and under-17 squads will also be in place by the new season starting in March 2015 as they complete the player pathway.

Linda Gibson has been appointed performance centre manager whilst Ainsley Douglas will be responsible for the technical development of players within the centre.

Other senior players from the ladies team will also be involved in a variety of coaching and support roles.

Douglas said: “We are looking to create an elite pathway all the way from under-7 through to the under-17 and then the ladies squad.

“We bring the girls in to do their homework to emphasise that school work is just as important as football, and we also have all female coaches to provide role models.

“We are trying to grow the women’s game so we want there to be a place 
for everyone.

“However, our main objective is to push on and have a side in the Premier League and playing 
international football.

“That is why we are so thrilled by Anna’s support, we gave her a presentation of what we are trying to do and she was really behind it.”

Gibson added: “One of our main objectives is player retention, we are in the second tier, but have five girls who have played 
international football.

“Right away that shows how they have bought into our vision for the future and are behind what we are trying to do here.”

Signeul will lead Scotland into action at Fir Park on Saturday as they take on the Faroe Islands in a World 
Cup qualifier.

She said: “I think it is a fantastic initiative and one I hope more clubs will do.

“Motherwell has shown they don’t just want girls playing football, but also that they can be the best they can be.

“It’s not just about participation, it’s also about trying to develop them as 
football players.

“We are our national academy, but if we can get strong club academies then it will strengthen the game at all levels in this country.”