‘UK first’ football academy to aid female footballers in Yorkshire earn US scholarships

Chris Cousins (left) and head of women's soccer Jonathan Maloney (right) at a recent trial in Huddersfield. Picture by Paolo De Luca.

Chris Cousins (left) and head of women's soccer Jonathan Maloney (right) at a recent trial in Huddersfield. Picture by Paolo De Luca.

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A female footballing academy, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, is being set up in Leeds to help aspiring stars gain scholarships at US universities.

Sports Recruiting USA, a UK agency, has teamed up with Leeds City College to offer a new football academy to help girls, aged 16 to 19, prepare for the US college game while studying full time for A-levels or BTEC qualifications.

Opening in August 2015, the new Leeds-based academy will offer 24 aspiring female footballers the chance to develop their football skills through training daily trained by UEFA-licensed coaches.

The academy is free to join and trials for its first intake will run at Leeds City College’s Horsforth Campus on Friday October 31 at 12noon to 2pm.

Chris Cousins, head of operations at Sports Recruiting USA, said: “The academy is a fantastic opportunity for any girl in the north of England and beyond to do something a little bit different when studying for their sixth form level academics.”

As part of the academy programme, a team of players will take part in the British Colleges League and all games will be filmed and analysed to help development. US coaches will be invited to see the players in action, while students will be aided in preparing for their SAT exams – the test that US colleges use to vet entries.

Anthony Gallagher, head of Leeds City College Academy for Sport, said: “This is a unique opportunity for talented young female players to gain a qualification while developing as an athlete.”

Visit www.srusaacademy.com to register for the trial.

SCHEME IS TO HELP PLAYERS

Acting as a ‘middle man’ between talented sports players and colleges in the USA, is the role of Sports Recruiting USA.

The company, established in 2010, creates full marketable profiles of individual players and then uses American college connections to try to secure aspiring sports stars athletic scholarships.

Sports Recruiting USA has teamed up with Leeds City College to offer its services to the institution’s students.

Leeds City College is third largest further education college in the UK, offering academic and vocational subjects at locations across Leeds and Keighley to around 57,000 students.

For further information visit www.leedscitycollege.ac.uk.

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