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FOUNDATION OF LIGHT
SOCIAL MEDIA

8 hours ago

RT @FoL_Beacon: The @FoL_Beacon @SAFCFoL core values. We are so excited as we get close to opening our doors to the local community. If an…

12 hours ago

RT @SunderlandAFC: ⏰ FULL TIME: What a game! It ends all square on Wearside as 10 man #SAFC would not give up and a late, late goal gave th…

13 hours ago

Today’s winning #GrandinYourHand number is 3319. If you have that number CONGRATULATIONS you’ve won £1,000! #SAFC https://t.co/tQTL1VZdiz

15 hours ago

Fancy winning £1,000 at today’s game? There’s still time to pick up your #GrandintheHand Lottery tickets before kic… https://t.co/OUFXuRYtBU

15 hours ago

RT @SunderlandAFC: 📝 Here's the #SAFC starting XI to line-up v @Boro this afternoon... #HawayTheLads https://t.co/E2i4zap9KQ

15 hours ago

RT @FoL_Beacon: Small sided football will be coming to the @FoL_Beacon @SAFCFoL very soon. We will be confirming our launch week in the co…

16 hours ago

Coming to @SunderlandAFC v @Boro this afternoon? Don’t forget your #GrandinYourHand Lottery tickets, available fro… https://t.co/xPt6badsnd

18 hours ago

RT @FoL_Beacon: The Beacon is going to be an inclusive community venue supporting the world of work, education, health and wellbeing as wel…

18 hours ago

RT @MatthewsMike1: @FoL_Beacon @SAFCfol Dinner with @SirTimRice supporting a fabulous cause Foundation of Light @NEAutoAlliance @NissanUK

18 hours ago

RT @TheMarkLaws: Looks amazing! Will have a massive impact! https://t.co/a6N4ekv0wL

18 hours ago

RT @FoL_Beacon: Check out these panoramic photos of the sports hall space and top level barn. Both areas are nearing completion and we ar…

18 hours ago

RT @ChrisFryatt: Blown away by how the Beacon of Light is progressing. It’s going to be some place! #BacktheBeacon https://t.co/0SYjFzvdap

Feb 23

CONGRATULATIONS to @oxcloseFutsal (U13s) and @Stbedesandbyron (U15s) on winning today’s @EFLTrust #Futsal Tournamen… https://t.co/fWrysgOZ6r

Feb 23

#FUTSAL: More clear cut in the U15 Tournament with @Stbedesandbyron finishing top of the group with a 100% record! 🏆 https://t.co/1bn6QzowmC

Feb 23

#FUTSAL: It was close in our @EFLTrust Futsal U13 Tournament group with @oxcloseFutsal edging out @WellfieldSchoolhttps://t.co/z6fg6pA0jv

Feb 23

NEWS: Could you be the next #ThreeLions star? Foundation of Light and @DurhamFA are hosting a #TalentDay for disab… https://t.co/0v1Suc8ryt

Feb 23

RT @FoL_Beacon: In the coming months we plan to announce the week we will be launching the Beacon. Facilities will include indoor & outdoor…

Feb 23

RT @hettonschoolpe: Today we are hosting the boys under 13’s and 15’s Futsal tournament with a great turn out @hettonschool https://t.co/WQ…

Feb 23

RT @MrGeorgeClarke: Please follow the Beacon of Light Twitter page @FoL_Beacon ...we’ve worked so hard to get this building built on the ba…

England ace Jess inspires young players

10 November 2017

An aspiring England international helped inspire the next generation of female footballers by sharing her experiences at a special Q&A as part of Girls Football Week.

Sunderland and Gateshead Regional Talent Club (RTC) midfielder Jess, who recently made her debut for the Lionesses under 15 side against Scotland, spoke to players and parents about her journey in the game so far from playing in boys teams to representing her country.

The 15-year-old posed for photos with the shirt she wore at St George’s Park and offered advice to members of the RTC squads who are hoping to follow in her footsteps.

“I started playing football when I was five having a kick around with my brothers and used to go and watch them play,” says Jess. “I’ve always had football there really and love playing.”

I got trials with North Shields Juniors and started playing for the boys’ team. At first other clubs thought, ‘Oh there’s a girl on the team this is going to be easy’ but once they saw me play they were was different.

Jess, Sunderland Regional Talent Club and England

“I then moved to the girls under 11s team and because I’d been playing with the boys it was totally new and I found it wasn’t as physical. It took some getting used to but my experience with the boys’ team definitely gave me an advantage.”

Looking to progress in football, Jess’ dad saw the Centre of Excellence were holding open trials which the then nine-year-old attended at Gateshead Academy for Sport.

“I really enjoyed the trials and although I was selected for the squad I made the decision to continue playing for North Shields Juniors,” she adds. “I went along for the trials the following year and decided to join. It’s been amazing, I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far.”

Jess’ performances for the RTC as well as playing for the Northumberland county side led to a call-up for England Under 15 Schoolgirls for European tournaments against some of the continents’ best young players.

Jess says: “Last year my Northumberland county manager put me forward for England School Girls team and I was lucky enough to be picked.

“We went to Portugal which was amazing with the hot weather and learning a different culture and then to Ireland to play in a tournament.”

The first-class training with the RTC and facing teams such as Manchester United and Manchester City continued the youngster’s progression and development and she was rewarded when her father received an email from the FA inviting her to join up with the Young Lionesses for a training camp.

“I’m not sure how it happened with England,” she adds. “Maybe there were scouts watching me play for the RTC. But I couldn’t believe it, I was so happy!”

Training at the FA’s National Football Centre in Burton also left an impression on Jess, an experience she will never forget.

“The coaching was amazing, we did opposition and player analysis and there was a big focus on nutrition,” she says. “We even practiced the national anthem!

“St George’s Park was incredible, the facilities were world class and all the pitches were cut to perfection. Everything is there for players.

“I was so proud to represent my country but it was nerve-wracking too. We played against Scotland and I didn’t realise there were so many people watching as I was so focused on the game.”

Nine-year-old Abbey, who joined the RTC under-10 squad this summer, said: “I want to play for Sunderland Ladies and England so listening to Jess talk about her experiences makes you want to continue working hard and play more football.”

That’s definitely what I’d tell girls who aspire to progress in the sport: work hard. And enjoy it, because if you don’t there’s no point in doing it.

Foundation of Light offers a unique Player Pathway for boys and girls, from Evening & Weekend sessions through to exit routes with Sunderland AFC Ladies and coach education programmes.

Central to the pathway is the Foundation-run Sunderland and Gateshead Regional Talent Club (formerly Girls Centre of Excellence), the North East’s elite development centre, which has produced England internationals such as Manchester City stars Steph Houghton and Jill Scott and Demi Stokes, Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Lucy Bronze (Olympique Lyonais) and Carly Telford (Chelsea).

Latest Tweet

Today’s winning #GrandinYourHand number is 3319. If you have that number CONGRATULATIONS you’ve won £1,000! #SAFC https://t.co/tQTL1VZdiz


about 13 hours ago