Girls getting on the ball

Girls will now get an equal opportunity to improve their footballing skills at Braidhurst High.
Girls will now get an equal opportunity to improve their footballing skills at Braidhurst High.

Motherwell FC Community Trust and Braidhurst High have teamed up to form a girls section at the current School of Football.

The pilot project, the first of its kind in Scotland to be supported by an Scottish Premiership club, will allow talented female footballers to be given the same opportunity to develop their skills as their male counterparts.

Head teacher Carolyn Rooney said: “We’re excited about the opportunity to expand our successful partnership to include an elite football programme for girls.

“We are confident it will prove to be every bit as successful as the boys’ School of Football and we are looking forward to welcoming our first group of players in the next few weeks.”

Braidhurst is one of seven SFA backed schools chosen to nurture the cream of Scotland’s most talented young footballers.

Pupils combine their football education with their normal curriculum as part of the Scottish FA’s commitment to player development.

The selection process is expected to begin over the next few weeks for pupils at Braidhurst and, if the pilot proves successful, will be opened up to girls from other schools the following year.

Councillor Jim Logue, convener of Learning and Leisure Services, said: “There’s no doubt that the Braidhurst School of Football has been a terrific success so it’s a natural development to include a girls section.

“What makes this different though is that we’re working in close partnership with Motherwell FC Community Trust to identify, encourage and mentor those taking part.”

Charlie Bennett, Motherwell FC Community Trust general manager, added: “We’re really excited to be part of this innovative project.

“Girls football is the fastest growing sport in Scotland and this initiative will help contribute to the development of talented players which can only strengthen the national game.

“Braidhurst already has a fantastic reputation for developing footballers and we look forward to working with them.”

The MFCCT ladies team has accumulated over 400 full international caps and won this season’s SWFL2 League Cup. They are currently top of their division.