21 August 2018
No fewer than 11 current and former Foundation of Light participants have been named in Sunderland AFC Ladies’ squad for the 2018-19 National League season.
The Lady Black Cats kicked off their campaign last Sunday against Fylde Ladies FC at the Hetton Centre looking for an instant return to the Women’s Super League.
Hoping to make their mark in the promotion push are Foundation Scholars Emily Hutchinson and Hannah Skull who join nine Sunderland and Gateshead Regional Talent Club graduates including club captain Kiera Ramshaw and forward Bridget Galloway in the 18-strong group.
Claire Robinson, Sunderland RTC Technical Director and Foundation Scholarship coach, said: “Our aim is always to give aspiring and talented players the opportunity to play and gain valuable experiences.
“Emily is a passionate, energetic and competitive person and being around the Sunderland AFC Ladies squad will definitely challenge her and improve her game.
“Hannah has just started her journey with Foundation Scholars so we’re looking forward to seeing how this fantastic opportunity will enrich her learning and development.”
With local talents such as Manchester City Women’s Steph Houghton and Jill Scott, Rachel Laws (Reading Women), Olivia Watt (Middlesbrough Women) and Victoria Curtis (Newcastle United Women) expected to star over the coming year, the Foundation’s football pathway continues to make its mark on the women’s game.
There is a great depth to the Foundation’s Women and Girls programmes which offers opportunities for everyone, whatever their ability or goal.
Having so many current and former Foundation participants involved at all levels of women’s football from the England captain to those taking their first steps in the game demonstrates the strength of our pathway.
Earlier this year the Foundation, which has engaged over 500 participants in the past 12 months through its women and girls programmes, was shortlisted for the Best Participation Initiative at the FA Women’s Football Awards.
The Foundation has also received a £6,000 Grow the Game grant from Football Foundation and Durham FA which will help encourage more girls to play football through the creation of four new girls only football teams at under 8 and under 10 age groups.
The Sunderland and Gateshead RTC is run in partnership between Foundation of Light, Gateshead College and supported by Durham County Football Association and is recognised as one of the best in the county.
Players take part in a comprehensive training programme covering all areas and concepts of football, with teams taking part in the RTC Tier 1 North League against elite clubs including Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.
Foundation of Light’s Football Scholarship gives 16-18 year olds the opportunity to represent Sunderland AFC and gain nationally recognised qualifications through an intensive football and education programme.
Last season the Ladies Scholars claimed an unprecedented double in their first season, winning the NFYL U19 League and NFYL U19 Cup.
Sunderland AFC Ladies’ next home game is against Middlesbrough Women on Wednesday 12th September at the Hetton Centre, DH5 9NE (kick off 7.45pm).